A California grandmother is suing a Fresno-area school district, claiming a district police officer got rough her with last year while she was trying to drop off cookies at school for her grandchildren.
WND reports Mary Poole was 78 years old in April when she tried to drop off some treats for her granddaughters at Kastner Intermediate School.
Poole recently told KFSN News she used to be the legal guardian of her granddaughters but a custody dispute between the girls’ parents had left her unable to see the girls.
“I hadn't seen my granddaughters for some time and I wanted to see them, and so I baked some cupcakes and bought some cookies for my granddaughters' classroom,” Poole said.
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She said she was waiting near the door of the girls’ class when a Clovis Unified School District police officer approached her and told her she had a restraining order against her and would have to leave.
Poole said she returned to her car, left the campus and pulled around the corner to call her son and tell him what had happened.
That’s when, she says, the officer approached her a second time and became confrontational.
“He wouldn't listen to anything I had to say, period,” Poole said. “Every time I tried telling him anything … I mean, I was even telling him, ‘I'm 78 years old,’ before he grabbed me. He sprayed me with mace twice.”
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She told KFSN the officer jerked her out of the car by her left arm and dragged her along the ground.
The incident reportedly left her with at least one broken bone, a dislocated shoulder and $180,000 in medical bills.
“And I was very frightened, and I told him to call the police and he said, ‘I am the police,’” Poole said.
In her lawsuit, filed earlier this month, Poole is suing the school district for excessive force, elder abuse, false arrest and assault.
Her attorney, Mark Coleman, said the officer didn’t have the proper training to handle the situation. Coleman said his client was never arrested by local authorities and there had never been a restraining order filed against her.
“The amount of force it took to inflict these injuries is testament to what happened that day,” Coleman said.
The lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount sought. The school district, at last report, said it had not yet received a copy of the suit and declined to comment.
KFSN reports the officer is still employed by the school district.