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Pitkin Plaza Cop Out On Sick Leave
by Paul Bass | Jul 5, 2012 9:00 am
Posted to: Legal Writes, Downtown
The policewoman who arrested the Ideat Village festival’s organizer this weekend is out injured as a result of the incident.
The officer, Betsy Segui (pictured), suffered a fractured hand and injured ankle, according to police.
Click here for a full story and reader debate about the incident.
Segui responded Saturday evening to noise complaints about an Ideat Village punk rock performance by a band called the Lost Riots in Pitkin Plaza on Orange Street. The complaints came around 8 p.m. from the 360 apartment tower, whose manager had emailed tenants urging them to contact police about loud music at the festival.
Segui asked festival organizer Bill Saunders to see his permit for the event. He didn’t have it on him; his wife had it around the corner at another festival event. While they waited, Saunders told the crowd about the police visit and suggested more people might get arrested if the police arrested him.
Segui then told him he was under arrest (for “inciting a riot”). He walked away. Segui stopped him and began arresting him. A scuffle ensued. It ended up on the ground. Saunders’ head and arm got bloodied.
According to the police account, Saunders fought the cops as soon as Segui stopped him, at one point twisting her foot.
Saunders said in an interview Monday that Segui did tell him, “Let go of my leg!”
“She had her leg locked in my arm, and she was sitting on my arm with her entire body,” Saunders said. “There was absolutely no way I could release her.”
Saunders insisted he “never resisted” arrest or fought the officers. “I tried to crawl away from them when they were on my back, to be in public view.”
At one point during the arrest Saunders called Segui a “twat.”
She went to the hospital for treatment later that evening and was released. On a follow-up visit she learned about the fracture and has since been placed on leave while she recovers, according to police.
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One correction to story.
Nancy is a co-founder, co-producer, and co-director of Ideat Village, but she is not my wife.
Also, Officer Segui didn’t say I was under arrest. I re-approached the officers after I made the announcement to the crowd. She told my to back off, or she would arrest me, so I walked away. She then told me if I walked away she would arrest me. I asked her on what charges, and she said “inciting a riot” and ‘interfering with police protocol’.
So I continued to walk…..
Ok Tenants it was a festival so expect some noise. I just love people who choose to move down town in a vibrant city life and expect country living where it’s peaceful an quite at 8:00pm. Expect some noise it was a city when u moved there and will continue to be one. Stop the “complaining”. Live and let Live. It’s not like this happen every night…....
And one last timeline thing….
My ‘offensive’ comment to Officer Segui happened long after I was wrestled to the ground. It happened while in cuffs, on Chapel Street, as she continued to wrench my manacled arms, inflicting pain on my wrists.
My injuries to date that speak to that are the bruises on my arm shaped like Segui’s fingerprints, and an pulled muscle in my right arm, which she was wrenching.
Frankly, I am not worried about the physical injuries. I heal well. I am worried about the injury to the constitutional rights of the citizens of New Haven.
You should be too!
Usually people live in cities for the culture & diversity. Way to try to put an end to it. But Rosanne Cash is ok, right? hmmm. It kills me that people are such haters, when these peeps are not trying to harm anyone & just have a good time. Maybe they should have come out of their TOWER & live a little.
When I learned that the arresting officers had to be treated at the hospital, I tried to figure out why and found a clue in the first picture used in the article by Nicolás Medina Mora Pérez on JUL 1st, which clearly shows that the female officer’s right leg is in a very unnatural position (unless you practice yoga). Today’s article and Bill’s comment thereto appear to confirm that the officer’s injury is genuine. That said, it all resulted from an unnecessary use of force on the part of the police, which is regrettable for both sides, as this incident is only going to widen the gap between the NHPD and the New Haven community, whose cooperation Chief Esserman needs to implement his community policing successfully.
All these comments by Bill, and not one expresses any sadness, sympathy or remorse about the cop’s injuries.
Why should there be any remorse on my part.
They are the ones that crossed the line.
The more i read these comments, the more I realize that if I was a new haven cop, I would loath the public.
This Saunders guy grabbed a females leg, wrenched it and hurt her and he thinks he is the victim. Whatever happened to putting your hands behind your back when your arrested.
And to Dr. Whatever who posted, to assume the cop is lying about ger injuries and believing its her fault for getting hurt!?!?
You NH residents live in bizzaro world. The cops are the good guys. You wanna be mad at someone, be mad at the people who didnt want the concert and called to complain. The cops have a job to do.
Don’t resist arrest me Saunders. You can even hear saunders taunting the cops on one video repeating over amd over “you a fucking rookie.”
Shame on you saumders and your croonies.
Is pepper spray really an appropriate response to verbal taunting? Really? When the kids on the school bus call you names, you can just pull out your pepper spray and let them have it?
This whole thing makes me sick. How can the police in good conscience shut down noise from 3 or 4 suitcase-sized speakers when, at the exact same time, the A&I festival is cranking out MEGAWATTS of power from several tons of professional audio equipment?? My mother can hear the booming from her house all the way in Hamden.
Every year Bill, Nancy and dozens of other volunteers work countless hours on almost NO budget in order to bring a fantastic FREE event to the city. And what do they get in exchange? Roadblock after roadblock from a city administration that claims to support local arts. And now on top of constant onslaught of bureaucratic attacks, they are putting up with physical violence.
Police Officers are taught that the minimum “safety zone” around an officer is 21 feet. If subjects enter the safety zone, refuse to comply with orders to “get back”, and divert attention away from the arrestee, then some use of force will occur (usually followed by an arrest, however this may not always be the case, i.e. large crowds ect). Pepper spray is a non-lethal use of force and totally appropriate for crowds that do not follow verbal commands. There were way too many people in Ofc. Segui’s safety zone (including around her cruiser). If she felt that her safety was in jeopardy, then she can use force to ensure her directives are being followed. It is all perspective. The people in that crowd may have felt that they were expressing their constitutional rights and were not intending any violence to those officers, but obviously Officer Segui felt differently.
As I understand it, and the picture on a different NHI story depicts, Bill did not grab her leg, wrench it or try to hurt the officer in any way. If you look to the original story on his arrest you will see the picture in which the female officer has her leg twisted at an awkward angle, however Bill’s arms are pinned and he is not inflicting the injury to her leg. She merely twisted her ankle while throwing Bill to the ground with the help of her partner. He is on the ground, not fighting, in nearly every picture of the incident I have seen. I believe that is also what Dr. TaK was trying to explain. It is unfortunate that she was injured but it was in no way Bill’s doing.
I’ve also seen a few comments from people downplaying Bill’s injuries or suggesting he deserved them. Who is unsympathetic now? Sorry if I have more sympathy for a man who was injured during an arrest that never should have happened while he was running an arts fest with permits than for a cop who acted inappropriately and injured herself in the process. She got paid sick leave for a minor injury. Bill got slammed to the ground and dragged away bleeding from the head and all he got was a court date.
Cops are not always the good guys, as you assert, and they DO have a job to do- just in this case they didn’t do it. Not only did they make a false arrest, injuring a man who was not resisting, they also pepper-sprayed a crowd of people who posed no threat to them (recording what they were witnessing). Yeah, that sure is “bizzaro”.
I also had to laugh at your last line- “Shame on you saunders and your croonies”. “Croonies” is not actually a word, but “crony” is and Oxford Dictionary defines it as a friend or companion. Cool.
I want to bring to the publics attention the selective press blackout.
The front page story in the NH Register on July 4th—the link is severed. (That was the story with all of the Witness accounts)
WTNH New Story of July 4th—TOTALLY UNAVAILABLE
(in this story, the police are quoted as saying I was intoxicated—yet they never administered a sobriety test—oops)
THE NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT IS THE WINNER OF THE IDEAT VILLAGE FREE PRESS AWARD FOR THIS NEWS CYCLE. KEEP IT UP, PAUL & Co.