Woman’s suit accuses Arlington officer of using excessive force

Posted Friday, Jun. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A woman filed a lawsuit in federal court this week accusing an Arlington police officer of using excessive force when he arrested her last year.

Vanessa Aguilar, described in the suit as a “slender, young female,” says officer Juan Rangel, a “large, burly, professionally trained police officer,” grabbed her by the neck, slammed her to the ground and punched her before attempting to place her in handcuffs.

Aguilar was “compliant, nonviolent and nonthreatening” during the arrest, the lawsuit states.

After Aguilar got out of jail two days later, the suit states, she went to a hospital and was treated for a sprained neck.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

“From our view, this is a frivolous lawsuit and we have no intention of paying any money, and we look forward to having this resolved in court,” Robert Fugate, of the Arlington city attorney’s office, said.

Aguilar swung her arms and then hid her arms beneath her body while officers tried to arrest her, Fugate said.

The incident occurred Nov. 21 after Aguilar’s father called police because he smelled alcohol on her breath when she arrived at his house in the 1800 block of Ida Street to pick up her son, according to the lawsuit. Aguilar’s father did not want her to leave with her 2-year-old son, the lawsuit stated.

When Rangel and an officer called “Jane Doe” in the suit arrived, they arrested Aguilar on outstanding warrants from Arlington. Records from the Tarrant County district clerk’s office show that a parole revocation warrant on a charge of driving while intoxicated was issued in July, Fugate said.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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