A woman violently arrested by police in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is suing police there after she claims the rough treatment she received resulted in her losing an arm.
Amy Needham was arrested by five deputies after she failed to show up at a preliminary hearing on a charge that was eventually reduced to disorderly conduct, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
Her attorney says that the excessive force she received at the hands of her arresting officers, coupled with the refusal by staff at Allegheny County Jail to let her see a doctor after complaining of pains, resulted in his client suffering near-fatal injuries.
“Five deputy sheriffs from for one little girl. She has to go to the bathroom. She asked, ‘Can I go to the bathroom?’ They refused. They broke the door down and then they Tased her, grabbed her and they put her in a sheriff’s van. And I think the handcuffs were tight,” attorney Marvin Leibowitz related of the incident.
He said the tightness of the handcuffs resulted in her contracting compartment syndrome - excessive pressure which can cause serious damage to muscles and nerves. He says staff ignored 16 pleas for a doctor by his client, until she went into septic shock and was rushed to a hospital. Doctors had to perform emergency surgery to remove the arm to prevent her from dying from the infection.
Now, the 35 year-old mother of three is suing the Sheriff's department for $75,000.
“She has severe psychological problems. I think she’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She doesn’t have an arm. How is she going to get a job?” Leibowitz said.
Neither the Pittsburg Sheriff's department nor Allegheny County jail has issued a response to the allegations.