Woman sues Chesapeake Police for $500,000 over alleged excessive use of force

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-05 20:01:34-05

Chesapeake, Va. - 70-year-old Ruth Davenport is a former Chesapeake resident who claims her constitutional rights were trampled on by Chesapeake Police. Now, she's suing them for $500,000, claiming two officers were too rough and arrested her for no reason.

"Sometimes I say to myself, why did this happen? Why me? But it did and we have to do something about it," Davenport said.

It all stemmed from an incident that happened on March 26. She says around 5:40 a.m., two officers, Joel Ayala-Acevedo and Anthony Echevarria, showed up at her door trying to serve a warrant for her son.

There were conflicting stories as to what happened once Davenport opened the door that morning.

She says she asked the officers to leave, closed the door and then opened it again. That's when she says Ayala-Acevedo grabbed her arm, pushed her into a wall and threw her on the ground to arrest her.

According to court documents, the officer claims she was cursing and kicked him in the thigh while resisting the arrest.

Davenport was arrested and charged with Felony Assault on a Police Officer, but her charges were dropped. She says she believes a video recording taken by a body camera on Ayala-Acevedo was her saving grace. NewsChannel 3 has asked for a copy of that video, but police refuse to release it.

Now, Davenport says she's taking action to take both Ayala-Acevedo and Echevarria to court.

"I want to make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again," Davenport said.

Click here to read a copy of the lawsuit.

Her attorney, S.W. Dawson, told NewsChannel 3 he is confident they will win.

"I'm very confident," Dawson said. "Ruth had to endure something that no one had to endure, she had large male police officers forcibly enter into her home, grab her person throw her to the ground. She was subjected to an arrest in the early hours of the morning. I believe Ruth's version of events is the correct version and her rights were trampled on here and we are going to take care of it in court."

Today, NewsChannel 3 also learned Chesapeake Police's Internal Affairs investigation in this case is now over and that Ayala-Acevedo is no longer a police officer. A Chesapeake Police spokeswoman tells NewsChannel 3 Ayala-Acevedo "separated" from the police department, but wouldn't say if he was fired or resigned. Chesapeake Police also say the other officer named in the lawsuit, Anthony Echevarria is still on the job, working normal duties.

Davenport's attorney says once the lawsuit is filed and he can get his hand on more evidence during the discovery phase, then it's very possible the City of Chesapeake and Chesapeake Police Department could be added into the lawsuit as well.

Chesapeake Police could not comment on the lawsuit or their internal affairs investigation.

NewsChannel 3 also stopped by Ayala-Acevedo's apartment Wednesday for a comment on the lawsuit, but a woman answered saying he was not available and then slammed the door.

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