Altercation between police officer and woman caught on video
"I believe that a man should be able to arrest a woman with less fighting and violence," says William Thornton.
Thornton was leaving the grocery story with his two kids and fiancée when he looked across the street at the Bridge Inn Bar and noticed an altercation between a police officer and 30-year-old Kristen Robertson. That’s when he whipped out his cell phone and started recording.
"They were standing there talking, and the cop grabbed her and she went to push his arms off of her, because he grabbed ahold of her," says Thornton. "And when he did, he grabbed the back of her head and slammed her on the ground, got on her back, had her in a choke, and that’s when she started screaming ‘Help.’"
Thornton says Robertson then bit the officer.
"With the same hand he said he was bit on, he pulled back and struck her twice in the side," says Thornton.
Brookport Interim Police Chief Rodney Hammond says Robertson was originally pulled over in Paducah for failure to wear a seat belt. The Paducah Police Department says she drove away during the traffic stop. Hammond says she was found across the bridge in Brookport, and when the officer tried to arrest her, police say she resisted.
"She fought him all the way to the back of the car. She bit him, they went to the ground, and he was trying to handcuff her and she bit him again, this time requiring medical attention," says Hammond. "He was trying to do strikes to release the bite and that’s when you see, when he was punching, that is actually where he is doing the strikes to her upper shoulder to get her to release the bite."
Thornton says he believes the officer hit Robertson as a punishment for biting him.
"Maybe he acted the way he thought he needed to act but, like I tell my kids, there’s right and there’s wrong. And you don’t put your hands on a woman, no matter what authority position you hold," says Thornton. "You do not strike a female."
Hammond says they are looking into the situation. Right now he says it’s an internal investigation, but if they need to bring in an outside investigator, he says they will.
They’re not releasing the name of the officer involved, but we do know he’s been with the Brookport Police Department for two months. Before that, he was with the Cairo Police Department for three years.
Kristen Robertson is charged with aggravated battery. She’s currently being held at the Massac County Jail. She’s also expected to face charges in Paducah.