A police officer tackled a woman to the ground in a prisoner-holding room and used his hand to pry open her jaw – all to get her to spit up a Tylenol pill she had swallowed.
Siobhan Householder went to court on May 8 to have a warrant lifted from a charge of failing to appear at a hearing. She was told to wait in a prisoner-holding room of the domestic relations court.
Because the 35-year-old Ohio woman appeared to court on her own volition, she didn’t think she was in custody and, as such, felt at liberty to take some Tylenol for a tooth infection.
A surveillance camera – without audio – caught the tussle that ensued.
The video shows Householder walking into the empty room with her purse, a second bag, and a plastic cup of soda. Summit County Deputy Eric Vaughan and an inmate soon return to the room.
Shortly thereafter, Householder swallows two pills with a sip of soda; she was taking a third pill when the deputy confronted her.
Householder recalls that Vaughan told her to spit out the pills after she told him that they were Tylenol.
“I said, ‘I can’t.’ I meant to say I can’t spit it out because I had already swallowed the other pills,” she explained.
Before she could get to the end of her sentence, however, the deputy “yanked” the woman to her feet, “threw” her to the ground, and did his best to “dig the pills out of [her] mouth.”
Householder added that even though one pill still was in her mouth, she “couldn’t even get it out because he kept shoving his hand in my mouth and squeezing my face and pulling my hair at the same time.”
As the deputy wrestled her to the ground, Householder’s prescription bottle fell to the floor; the deputy picked it up, read the label, and appeared to collect one pill that had fallen onto the carpet.
The mother of three suffered a bruised chin, cuts inside her mouth, bruised legs and some hair loss. Afterwards, she was handcuffed and frisked, and her bags were searched; paramedics treated her on the scene for a bloody mouth.
Deputies seized the prescription medications in her purse: nine Tylenol, two diazepam tablets, 26 ibuprofen tablets, and three unknown pills.
She was then taken to Akron General Medical Center, only to be released from the ER with summonses on charges of resisting arrest and obstructing official business.
Sheriff Inspector Bill Holland said that Vaughan had been ordered to take Householder into custody, where the deputy “witnessed her attempt to ingest several pills.” Holland also noted that Vaughan “restrained her for her safety.”
An internal investigation is underway because of the deputy’s use of force.
Householder’s warrant was lifted on the same day of the incident. She is not facing any drug-related charges.