This story is getting a lot of play in the San Diego area and beyond. It surrounds a woman who came home Friday to find her home on fire. As Torazzi Hayslett ran toward the house her husband and a police officer tried to restrain her. It went downhill from there as you will see in the raw video above from the Imperial Beach Patch and read details below.
I’ve pulled video and information from a variety of sources. Included are a KGTV-TV news report that aired prior to the video surfacing (click here). It talks about the woman being restrained but a police lieutenant’s soundbite only mentions that “fire personnel attempted to restrain her”. No indication if the omission of the altercation with police was by the reporter or the lieutenant.
At the bottom of the page are two videos taken by people in the neighborhood. Both capture a little bit of the early stages of the fire.
The San Diego Police Department is in the process of conducting an internal investigation into one of their own officers who’s being accused of misconduct on the job.
The police sergeant in question is Sgt. Daniel McLaughlin, who was caught on video scuffling with a woman (Torazzi Hayslett) who lives at a house that caught on fire Friday on Ilex Avenue and Green Bay Street in Nestor.
In the controversial video, McLaughlin can be seen pulling the woman’s hair after she appears to hit him in the face. The woman is hysterical, running toward her burning house during the altercation.
Hayslett ran screaming toward the structure, and firefighters and San Diego police officers struggled to restrain her, the Patch video shows. The video has been shown on local television as well.
While being carried away from the scene, Torazzi grabbed part of a fire truck.
Husband Alex Hayslett was pulling her away when McLaughlin forcibly took her hand from the truck, and she swung at the officer’s face. He reacted by dragging her by the hair, video shows.
At one point, the officer reached over Alex to grab Torazzi by the hair.
Minutes later, Torazzi Hayslett was in handcuffs, dismaying a crowd of more than 50 onlookers and neighbors.
“Due to allegations arising from this incident, we are conducting an internal investigation into the matter,” Lt. Andra Brown, a police spokeswoman, said Saturday. “Because it is a personnel matter, we are not able to make any further comment.”
McLaughlin was involved in a 2009 incident in which a jury found that he used unreasonable force and was negligent during a sidewalk encounter that left a longtime homeless advocate injured.
The jury awarded John David Ross, also known as the “Water Man,” nearly $4,000 in damages.
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