Ridgeland Police in South Carolina say they were breaking up a fight when they tasered a pregnant 18 year old woman. Terri Toomer, who's seven months pregnant, was fighting with another woman early Sunday morning in the parking lot of a gas station convenience store.
A store clerk called police after Toomer and the other woman started arguing in the store. Although each woman claims the other started the fight, Ridgeland Police Officer Dave Kopenhaven said he saw Toomer run to the other woman's car, reach inside, grab her by the hair and beat her.
Police said they had no idea Toomer was pregnant and only tasered her after they couldn't subdue her. Toomer, who admitted she was fighting, said she's now concerned about the health of her unborn child.
"My baby, they say the heartbeat is fine, but they can't tell anything else until my baby is born," she said.
Her mother, Jeannell Williams, who worked at the restaurant next door, saw it happen and tried to intervene.
"I was standing there, trying to (pull) her off the other female," Williams explained, "and he jumped out of the car with that thing and said, "step away from the car" and I said, "No! What are you doing?"
"She didn't have a weapon or anything," said her boyfriend, Maurice Wright, "nothing threatening toward him."
"The next thing I knew," said Toomer, "I was falling to the ground."
She still has a mark and bruising on her abdomen from the taser.
"It was painful," she added. "It hurt. It really did."
Toomer was treated by paramedics on the scene and taken to the Jasper County Detention Center. She'll appear in court later this month on disorderly conduct charges. The other woman was not arrested.
Ridgeland Police are conducting an internal investigation. The Ridgeland Chief of Police says it is a routine procedure carried out any time a weapon of force, like a taser, is used.
Reported by: Liz Flynn, firstname.lastname@example.org
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