Women File $5M Claim Against Police

Women File $5M Claim Against Police

Two Prescott business owners filed a $5 million claim against four police officers, and a police chief over an alarm response that allegedly turned into an assault. The women seek damages for personal injuries including assault, battery, wrongful imprisonment, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional stress.

According to the claim, the two women – Christine Mason, and Penny Griffin – and Penny’s mentally disabled brother, Jeff, were assaulted by officers Norman Peterson, and Mark Parker, when they responded to a burglary alarm near their business.

“In this particular case, they took a gentleman who’s psychologically handicapped and they abused him and they created a lifetime nightmare for that man,” said Larry Debus, the plaintiffs’ lawyer.

The Incident

The suit claims that on July 30, the three plaintiffs were working in their store, and decided to stay the night in the back room.

After they woke up, they heard the gate open, and saw two large men with flashlights, who would turn out to be police officers, approaching them. The officers said they were responding to a burglary alarm, and asked them to see identification.

As Mason reached for her wallet and began to walk, Peterson allegedly violently threw her to the ground, claiming she was resisting arrest. Meanwhile, Parker handcuffed Griffin, and struck her with his flashlight, according to the claim. Griffin fell to the ground and injured her left shoulder.

An officer also grabbed Jeff by the arm, bruising him, despite Griffin’s pleas to not touch him.

The Injuries

Penny Griffin sustained abrasions, and bruises all over her body, as well as an elbow fracture, the claim states. Mason suffered contusions, abrasions, a strained elbow, and a cervical strain, according to the claim.

Jeff Griffin’s mental disability worsened as a result of the incident, and now requires psychiatric help, and a counselor, the claim says.

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