A city in California has agreed to pay $360,000 to settle a lawsuit with a woman who claimed cops slammed her against a wall after her credit card declined a $16.70 cab fare.
The incident involving Ashley Watts, who is a licensed cosmetologist, occurred on June 26, 2016, in Newport Beach.
Watts, 34, took a taxi from a hotel bar where she had been drinking with friends, but when it was time to pay, her credit card declined the $16.70 fare.
According to court documents obtained by the Orange County Register, Watts alleged that when she asked the driver if she could run upstairs to her apartment to get a different credit card, the driver refused and called the police.
Officers Christine Maroney and Monica Aguilar arrived to the scene a short time later.
Maroney is alleged to have threatened Watts with being arrested if she didn’t pay the fare.
Eventually, the officers agreed to escort her to her apartment so that she could grab her other credit card.
Once upstairs, the officers tried to follow her into her apartment, but she refused to let them inside.
That’s when, Maroney allegedly pushed Watts against a wall, causing her to hit her head,
She claimed they also kicked her legs out from under her, which caused her to land hard on her knee.
They then applied their body weight on her while handcuffing her, court documents allege.
Her lawyer, Jerry Steering, told the Register that his client was jailed overnight and released the next day.
Watts accused the officers of excessive force and unlawful arrest.
Last October, a court ruled that the officers qualified for immunity on the excessive force allegation, but allowed the suit to proceed on the unlawful arrest.
The cab company also paid $10,000 to settle the charges.