What started as a night filled with excitement and anticipation turned into a nightmare for one Indiana couple. James Reiner and his pregnant wife, Dana, who’d gone into labor, were rushing to a local hospital. Since they were faced with a medical emergency, there were reportedly speeding to make it to the hospital in a timely fashion. However, their efforts were thwarted when they were delayed by officers with the Crown Point Police Department.
According to NWI Times, the incident — which occurred in January of 2012 — quickly went from bad to worse. The series of events that occurred were documented in the couple’s lawsuit against the law enforcement agency and the officers involved. Now, the dashcam footage has also been released.
**Warning: Video contains extremely explicit language and graphic content that may be offensive to some viewers. **
The documents detailed the couple’s encounter with the officers, which began when James Reiner was caught speeding. Sgt. Anthony Dandurand originally stated that he’d chased the speeding couple’s vehicle for approximately five miles, but later indicated that they’d only driven 1.1 miles. According to the documents, James did not stop immediately, but instead, turned on his emergency flashers while talking with a dispatcher via 911. Once he did pull over the couple, Sgt. Dandurand reportedly verbally abused them.
“I will shoot you, you piece of s—! Get on the ground!”
After they explained the situation to the officer, he still refused to let them leave. They insist Sgt. Dandurand told James, “You will be in jail tonight, and you will not be there when your child is born.”
When Dana stepped out of the vehicle to show the officer her water had broke, another officer — identified as Sgt. Travis Thomas — reportedly told her to “Get back in the f——- car,” while pointing a laser gun toward her stomach. “I thought, ‘OK,'” Dana added. “I’m not going to let them shoot my kid. I got back in the car.”
Dana was forced to wait for an ambulance and James was arrested. It has been reported that Dana barely made it to the hospital in time. Their daughter, Abigail, was born with the umbilical cord around her neck. Doctors had to carefully unwrap the cord and remove it from her neck. If Dana had been forced to give birth on the side of the road, there is a chance their daughter could have died, the doctors reportedly said, according to Opposing Views.
Needless to say, James was not present for the birth of his daughter because he spent the night behind bars. However, that’s not all. James was booked on charges of probable cause felony charge of resisting law enforcement. Although he was never formally charged with a felony, he is still stuck with a felony arrest that his attorneys are working to have expunged.
Following the incident, the couple attempted to press charges against the department, but to no avail. Their complaints were not taken into consideration until they filed a lawsuit against the law enforcement agency, reports NWI Times. In July of 2014, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ruled in the couple’s favor, stating that Dandurand and Thomas violated the couple’s constitutional rights based on the fourth amendment.
“The court does not think a reasonable officer, after realizing (as Officers Dandurand and Thomas did soon after handcuffing James) that plaintiffs were en route to the hospital to have their baby, would have continued to detain them, much less have kept James under arrest and taken him to jail for the night. To the contrary: such conduct, at that point, violates the clearly established guarantees of the Fourth Amendment.”
The couple has reportedly settled with the police department for an undisclosed amount.
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