STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — A Valencia woman has sued the city of Carlsbad and several of its officers over allegations that she was pinned to the ground and punched by police in 2013.
Cindy Hahn said the incident on July 31 – a day she calls the worst one of her life – was caught on cellphone video.
The footage Hahn alleges captured her on the ground with one officer on top of her and a second officer repeatedly hitting her in the head.
Hahn says her children screamed and watched from the car. She says her son still talks about it.
"The only thing that he'll talk to me about is, 'I couldn't protect you, Mom. I could've. I could've got him off you. I could have helped you,' " she said.
Hahn is a mother, wife, and daughter of a retired officer.
She says it all started after she asked a Carlsbad police officer what was going on as he stood in front of a car with its doors open and the vehicle's alarm blaring.
"And he says, 'Is this your car?' And I said, 'No, sir.' And he says, 'Then mind your own [expletive] business,' " she said.
Stunned, Hahn says she told a man nearby what the officer said and together they decided she should do something about it so she started to take video.
She alleges that the officer continued cursing at her, which led her to call police to report him. She then left.
Moments later, Hahn says that same officer pulled her car over she for a seat belt violation she was told.
Within seconds she says she was pinned to the ground. She alleges that things got more violent when backup arrived. She says the memory still haunts her.
"I can feel hands on me. It's the weirdest feeling," she said.
This July, two years later, the San Diego District Attorney dropped felony charges against Hahn for resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.
Her attorney, Mark Geragos, says the video was all it took.
"Never seen a police tactics expert testify that what you need to do is slug a female in the face," he said.
Hahn is now suing the city of Carlsbad and the police officers involved. Geragos says they want the police officers fired and reform at the police department.
Hahn's dad, meanwhile, who is retired now from the San Fernando Police Department says he's offended by these fellow officers. He says his expertise tells him this never should have happened.
"There was no need to punch her in the face when he ran up on the scene. There was no need to punch her any further. All he did was deliver a lot of punishment that was totally unnecessary," Mike
Dalton, Hahn's father, said.
CBS2/KCAL9 reached out to the Carlsbad Police Department several times this weekend, but the department has not yet responded to a request for comment.
The City of Carlsbad, however, issued the following statement:
"The City of Carlsbad looks forward to bringing this lawsuit before the proper judicial authorities as soon as possible. We are prepared to provide a complete and detailed account of the facts of this incident in a courtroom, not in the media."
In responding to the statement from Carlsbad, Geragos said: "Last time they brought this case in a courtroom the District Attorney dismissed their case ... the DA fired them."
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