Washington Park officer accused of tasing handcuffed woman

Andrea Dearden Sep. 20, 2010, 6:55am

A Washington Park police officer is accused of handcuffing a woman, tasing her and then accusing her of a crime she didn't commit as a cover-up.

Shannon Tugle filed a complaint against officer Antwan Stith and the Village of Washington Park Sept. 10 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Tugle says she was at her sister's North 52nd Street home on July 12 when Stith responded to an assault complaint at the home.

Tugle claims Stith was "without provocation or any legal justification" when he arrested and handcuffed her and "threw her in the back of a squad car."

Tugle says Stith used his taser to shock her twice while she was in handcuffs. Tugle claims Stith then charged her with resisting a peace officer in an attempt to justify his conduct.

The complaint also accuses Stith of continually harassing and threatening Tugle since the alleged incident. Tugle argues Stith's actions caused her to suffer personal injury, pain, suffering, loss of freedom and the stigma of an arrest.

The village of Washington Park is accused of violating Tugle's constitutional rights by hiring Stith and failing to train, investigate, discipline or fire him for improper conduct. Tugle argues Washington Park gave further credence to Stith's actions by refusing to dismiss the criminal charges filed against her.

Tugle claims the defendants have acted intentionally or with reckless disregard for her health and well-being. She is asking for a minimum of $100,000 from Stith and the village.

Attorney Jarrod P. Beasley of The Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville is representing Tugle.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-469

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