NASHUA — A local woman has filed a civil complaint against the city and the Nashua Police Department claiming excessive force was used during an arrest three years ago.
Pamela Reynolds, 47, of Nashua, is also suing a city police detective and patrolman, according to documents filed at the Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua. Reynolds was taken into custody July 1, 2011, during an incident at Railroad Square. Although she was originally charged with a felony count of falsifying physical evidence and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, the felony charge was not prosecuted and Reynolds was eventually acquitted of the misdemeanor offense during a trial. Reynolds’ attorney, Steven Maynard, said in court documents that police sprayed Reynolds with pepper spray, physically threw her to the ground and subsequently caused physical injury and medical expenses.
She was “subjected to undue and excessive force in the course of her seizure and arrest in this matter, and is entitled to damages,” according to the complaint. “Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer serious bodily injury, medical treatment, medical cost and expense, legal fees, mental anguish and emotional damages, loss of enjoyment of life and other compensatory damages ….”
Reynolds is requesting a jury trial in the civil case, along with attorney fees and other costs incurred while pursuing the claims.
According to a prosecutor’s synopsis of Reynolds’ arrest, Detective Daniel Archambault arrived at Railroad Square on July 1, 2011, to make contact with a disorderly male, identified as Michael Gannon, who was holding a small video recorder and announced to police that they were being recorded.
During Gannon’s arrest for alleged disorderly conduct, he handed the recorder to Reynolds.
“Detective Archambault can testify that he made contact with Reynolds and told her that he would be taking the recording device, as it is now evidence of a crime. He observed Reynolds place the recording device into her jeans pocket and begin to walk away,” according to the synopsis, adding Reynolds later took the recorder from her pocket and threw it into some bushes in an alleged attempt to conceal the item from police.
Officer Andrew J. Roy was then directed to arrest Reynolds. “He can testify that Reynolds refused to comply with the arrest, ignoring requests from Officer Roy to put her hands behind her back,” states the prosecutor’s synopsis, adding that as police attempted to handcuff her, she continued to pull her arms away and ignore police requests. After using pepper spray, “Reynolds continued to resist, at which time (Roy) took her to the ground. He can testify that Reynolds kept her arms tucked under her body, refusing to comply with requests to place her hands behind her back,” says the synopsis, adding Reynolds later refused to provide a statement to police.
According to newly filed court documents, Reynolds acknowledges that Gannon handed her a cellphone that was being used for recording, in addition to a leashed dog. As she walked away from the scene, Reynolds said she tossed the phone into a grassy area, according to court records.
“When Officer Roy advised he was arresting (her), she asked to give the leashed dog to another spectator and asked why she was being arrested. Instead of responding to her request, Officer Roy sprayed her with OC spray, threw her to the ground and physically pulled her arms behind her back to be cuffed,” states the new civil complaint.
“All prosecutions against Pamela Reynolds were terminated in her favor, causing her damage for which she is entitled to relief,” states the complaint filed by Maynard.
The city’s legal counsel, Brian Cullen, is on vacation and unavailable for comment.