Footage first obtained by FOX 13 shows a Tampa police officer hauling a homeless woman around like a rag doll — literally dragging her off to jail. That officer was later reprimanded.
The video, shot in October 2013, shows the parking area for law enforcement at the Hillsborough county jail. A Tampa police officer gets a suspect out of the car — a woman whose hands and feet are tied.
Another man stands at a distance and watches as Officer Scott Van Treese unties her feet and tries to get her up. She collapses and the video shows him grabbing her with one arm and dragging her to into jail while the other man watches.
The police report says she’s Sonya Mimminger, who was arrested on drug charges and obstructing or opposing an officer without violence.
The 36-year-old woman is homeless, but FOX 13 found her on the streets of Tampa.
Initially, she was hesitant to talk — “There’s nothing I can do about it,” she offered. But she then agreed to look at the video and answer some questions.
“He did me like a little rag muffin,” she offered. “I wonder why he’d drag me like that?”
Mimminger said her feet were untied, but she couldn’t walk.
“They were hurting. I rode all the way to jail, 10 to 15 minutes to get to the jail. I had never been hogtied before.”
TPD conducted an Internal Affairs investigation and Officer Van Treese received a written reprimand, the department said Thursday. The department also changed its policy so that anyone who is passively resisting arrest now has two officers conduct the transport.
As for Mimminger, the jail would not take her that day. She ended up going by ambulance to Tampa General and was treated and released a few hours later.
When she appeared in court on the drug charges, she ended up sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Now she’s out and wants to forget about everything, but also says it’s important for people to see what happened to her.
“It made me feel like I didn’t have much to live for. If I can’t get respect from law enforcement officers, who else can I get respect from?” she added. “It was that serious to me. It was another heartache.”