A former teacher, Ashley Zuress, recently filed a lawsuit after being attacked by a police dog in Newark, Ohio in March 2016 (raw video below).
A police dash camera recorded Zuress’ screams while she was being attacked by the police dog,
“I felt like from that video, everything in my life was over,” Zuress told WSYX/WTTE. “I have an ugly scar on my arm that can’t go away. It can’t be fixed.”
Zuress recalled losing her teaching job at a Columbus, Ohio charter school after the incident and how she needed more than a dozen staples in her arm.
Police stopped Zuress and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Grooms, for a traffic violation, but Grooms ran from the car, notes the Newark Advocate.
According to Zuress, she was not approached by police. So she slided into the driver’s seat, and thought she could drive home.
Police pulled over Zuress, and demanded that she not face police and somehow walk backwards towards them.
Zuress’ lawsuit states:
Ms. Zuress turned to face away from (Officer) who then ordered her to walk backwards toward him. Ms. Zuress did not immediately walk towards (Officer), rather she twisted her body around, asked why she was being pulled over and stated that she wanted to go home.
Approximately one second after (Officer) threatened Ms. Zuress with use of the “dog,” Defendant Burris moved from his position behind Ike to Ms. Zuress’ Jeep. From that vantage point, Defendant Burris could clearly see that Ms. Zuress was unarmed and making no threatening moves.
Police turned loose the police dog on Zuress, who was unarmed.
Newark Police Department and City Law Director’s Office have not commented.
Zuress’ lawsuit against Officer Dave Burris and the Newark Police Department says that Zuress was “forcibly and painfully to the ground where Ike continued to bite Ms. Zuress’ arm while Defendant Burris and other officers forcefully placed (her) in handcuffs.”
Zuress was charged with two crimes, and agreed to a plea deal to misdemeanor counts of obstructing official business and failure to comply; Zuress was sentenced to a suspended 30-day jail sentence.
According to police, a loaded firearm was recovered from the passenger side of the car.