Texas resident Gwendolyn Daniels is suing the city of Austin and the Austin police department on claims that a police officer needlessly shot into her car four times at point-blank range.
The shooting happened in October 2013 following Daniels’ shift as a server at Coyote Ugly bar. As Daniels tried to leave the bar, a group of drunken patrons started hitting and jumping on her vehicle. Daniels accelerated quickly as the group attacked her car, which caused her tires to squeal. The screech attracted the attention of Austin Police Officer Robert Krummel, who immediately ran towards the scene.
Krummel opened fire as he approached Daniels' car.
"Krummel then inexplicably and without warning pulled his weapon and opened fire on Ms. Daniels' vehicle in complete and utter disregard for Ms. Daniels' safety and the safety of the several hundred other citizens walking along the street there," Daniels’ lawsuit reads, according to Courthouse News Service. "Krummel fired his service weapon four times at point-blank range into the windshield of Ms. Daniels' vehicle as she passed by him, very narrowly missing her, and he likely would have killed her had the bullets not lodged in the dashboard but instead had struck her at such close range."
Daniels pulled over at the next intersection to speak with police. Her lawsuit claims she was handled “gruffly” by officers and taken to the ground. She was arrested on the spot and brought to police headquarters. At headquarters, she was handcuffed to a metal bench and interrogated by officers for hours. She claims she was denied even a glass of water during the lengthy interview. Officers released her without charges later that night.
Daniels’ troubles didn’t stop at her release. Her car was impounded for ten months following the incident and was entirely inoperable when she got it back. She says the car’s dashboard was ripped apart during the police department’s investigation.
Daniels claims the shooting left her with post-traumatic stress disorder, causing her to lose her job. Her lawsuit seeks damages for excessive force, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, conversion, and physical and emotional injuries. She also wants the city to cover the costs of the medical and counseling needs she now has because of the shooting.