Society

Texas Woman Says She Was Wrongly Arrested For Walking On The Wrong Side Of The Street

| by Dominic Kelly

A Texas woman says she was unfairly arrested for not stopping to talk to a police officer while she was on her morning walk.

The woman, Melissa Bonnette, says the incident occurred on Friday in Whitehouse, Texas when a uniformed officer pulled up next to her on his motorcycle and asked if he could speak with her.

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"I thought that maybe he was flirting," said Bonnette to CBS 19. "I just thought it was odd, I thought it was odd. I wasn't really sure but I felt uncomfortable because there wasn't anyone around. He just crept along beside me on his motorcycle and he started saying, 'Hey ma'am! I want to talk to you. Hey stop, ma'am! I want to talk to you.' Then my anxiety rose even higher.”

Bonnette says she wasn’t sure he was really a police officer based on the way he was acting, so she kept on jogging. That’s when the situation escalated. According to reports, the officer stopped his motorcycle, chased her down, and tackled her to the ground before putting her in handcuffs.

"I just was crying and I was saying 'Please sir, please sir. Why are you doing this?'" explained Bonnette. “It was like I was in a nightmare. I hadn't done anything wrong.”

Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton defends the officers’ actions, saying that the woman should have stopped the first time she was asked.

"The motorcycle has a patch on both sides of the gas tank. It's black and white and says 'Whitehouse Police,' and has red and blue lights on it," said Shelton to CBS 19. "So you have to take it for what it is. Do you think he's a Whitehouse police officer? Why would you think he's someone impersonating a police officer?"

Shelton went on to explain that in addition to failing to stop for the officer, the woman was also walking on the wrong side of the road.

"Normally if a police officer pulls up, in my opinion, it's awful odd for somebody just to take off and not want to speak to the police officer," said Shelton. "And he had a lawful reason to be there and to stop her. By law, you have to be to the far left facing oncoming traffic.”

Bonnette is now calling for the arresting officer, Shawn Johnson, to be fired, despite Chief Shelton’s defense.

"I really don't want to live in a town where something like this could happen to a law-abiding citizen," said Bonnette. "I'm not going to be able to walk anymore, and that's sad because I enjoy walking every day. But I'm terrified. It was just so traumatic."

Whitehouse Police are investigating the incident which, according to reports, was caught on police dashcam.