Tenn. Police Use Taser on Middle School Cleaning Woman After Mistaking Her for Burglar

Juana Raymundo, 36, was cleaning Ooltewah Middle School in Collegedale, Tenn., when police used a Taser on and arrested her. 

Ooltewah Middle School
Ooltewah Middle School CBS News Screenshot

Tennessee police officers used a Taser on and arrested a middle school cleaning woman after mistaking her for a robber, authorities said.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free-Press, on Jan. 11, officers were patrolling the area around Ooltewah Middle School in Collegedale, Tenn., when they saw an open door. Police said they went inside, where they encountered 36-year-old Juana Raymundo, who was cleaning the school.

“She obviously noticed us, as she looked directly at us, appearing to be nervous and somewhat reserved,” Sgt. Jamie Heath wrote in his police report, according to the Times Free-Press.

The officer’s report also indicated that Raymundo didn’t appear to understand English, answering a question from the officer with the word “no.” Raymundo began to walk away, and Heath and the other officer gave chase, following her around the school, according to the newspaper.

Heath said that he told Raymundo to stop running or she would be shocked with a stun gun. The officer said that he yelled, “Alto,” the Spanish word for “stop,” but said Raymundo continued to run, according to the Times Free-Press. Heath then fired his Taser, causing Raymundo to fall to the ground.

“This is a pretty defensively written report,” Andrew Free, a Nashville, Tenn., attorney who specializes in immigration and civil rights, told the Times Free-Press.

“I wonder if this is the same attention to detail that the officer gives every affidavit of complaint,” he said. “And if so, why wasn’t there more attention to detail noting whether they identified themselves as they were sweeping the building?”

Raymundo was arrested on a charge of evading arrest and later released on a $750 bond.

She is due in Collegedale Municipal Court March 2.

Read more at the Chattanooga Times Free-Press.

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