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Woman claims Marco Island police used excessive force during arrest

Posted at 7:39 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 19:39:59-04

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. — A woman is trying to decide on a course of action after she claims Marco Island police officers used excessive force on her when they responded to a call for possible domestic violence. Nina McKeough, 54, said she ended up with bruises after resisting arrest.

McKeough said that her and her fiance Mont Reed's encounter with police happened the night of May 5, after a night out drinking.

"We took an Uber home from Naples, and got into an argument," she said.

According to a police report, the Uber driver called police after dropping the couple off at a home on Winterberry Drive.

"They were arguing during the trip," Uber driver Rosario Arroyo is quoted as saying in a Marco Island Police witness statement. "Then he punched her on the face and I saw it in my rear view mirror."

McKeough denied that Reed ever struck her.

"If he had punched me in the face, I would have called the police," she said.

McKeough said she was confused about why the police showed up, but said that the situation escalated when Reed stepped away from the officers at the door of the house.

"They flew into the house and slammed him against a wall," she said. "I grabbed the arm of the officer in front of me and said 'hey, what are you doing?' They took me and threw me to the ground face first, put a knee in my back, and put me in handcuffs."

Video footage from inside a patrol car shows McKeough in the back seat, yelling "these (handcuffs) are too tight!"

"You're the one that was fighting with us, that's why they're tight," an officer can be heard telling her.

While Reed awaits trial on a charge of battery that McKeough says didn't happen, she said she's considering making a formal complaint of excessive force against the Marco Island Police Department. She submitted photos of bruises on her arms to Fox 4 that she claims were caused by the officers.

In an email, acting police Chief Dave Baer said that no such complaint had yet been filed with MIPD, but that they are reviewing the officers' actions that night.

"I believe the...photographs justify further inquiry or vetting," Baer wrote.

"It is far too early to suggest any policy violations or policy failures," he added.