KEY POINTS

  • Carolyn O’Neal, now a grandmother, was 49 when the incident happened.
  • She was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, which were dismissed later
  • According to her lawyer, enforcement officers who believed they were above the law got smacked down hard by a jury. 

A Colorado woman, who was unlawfully arrested while naked and tased after being strapped on a chair, was paid $2.4 million by Fremont County.

Carolyn O’Neal, now a grandmother, was 49 when the incident happened in 2014. Though a jury awarded her $3.6 million last year after she sued the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, a federal judge later reduced the amount to $2.1 million, prompting both sides to appeal.

But a settlement was reached for $2.4 million last week, reported NY Daily News.

O’Neal was about to take a bath and posed 'no risk to self' when three deputies arrived at the apartment, a homeless transitional housing program facility at Cañon City, for a welfare check. 

She asked the deputies to leave as she was naked, about to take a bath and had no intention of harming herself. The three men used a key to barge into the apartment, then threw her on the bed and handcuffed her.

She was still unclothed when taken to jail. Though the deputies gave her a smock to cover herself, it slid off her shoulders many times, exposing her. She was released at one point from restraint but was strapped back again. When she resisted, O'Neal was shocked with a taser in a restrained state and forced to wear a spit mask.

She was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, which were dismissed later. Deputies have since then admitted she should have been moved to a hospital, rather than jail.

O'Neal's attorney David Lane told Denver Post that law enforcement officers who believed they were above the law got smacked down hard by a jury. "Unfortunately, this costs the taxpayers of Fremont County a lot of money. But, I hope it inspires the citizenry to demand accountability from law enforcement — otherwise, it’s coming out of their pockets," he said. 

Lane said the police were called by the management. "Her mother was dying, she was depressed, and she made some offhand statement about -- things are going so great, I feel like I should drive my car off a cliff," said Lane. He added that O'Neal suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, among other mental health issues. handcuffs-354042_1920 Representational image Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)