Millions awarded to Denver woman falsely arrested, taken to jail, while naked

Posted at 2:00 AM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 02:00:28-04

DENVER - A Denver District Court awarded $3.6 million to a woman after a May 2014 welfare check turned into a string of civil rights violations.

At the time, Caroline O'Neil's mother was sick. She made a passing comment, taken by management to be a suicidal threat, to somebody where she was living. Management later called police, asking them to perform a welfare check on her, O'Neil's attorney said.

When the Fremont County deputies arrived and tried to speak to her, she refused to come out of her room, telling them she was "OK."

Court documents said Sheriff's deputies falsely arrested O'Neil for cursing at them.

But it didn't end there.

During the arrest, deputies forcibly dragged her from her home with no clothing. They then jailed her while she remained naked and restrained her for hours while they tased her.

In video provided to KDVR, O'Neil is seen restrained in a chair, wearing nothing but a blanket and a spit mask.

Deputies later admitted they should have taken O'Neil, who suffers from PSTD, to the hospital instead of the jail.

A judge later dropped all charges O'Neil faced from that night her attorney said she was "treated like an animal."

The department tried to settle the wrongful arrest and excessive uses of force for $20,000 earlier in the week, but now they owe O'Neil over $3 million.