Cop caught pulling fire victim by her hair
A San Diego police officer is under investigation after a local photographer released footage of him pulling a woman by her hair while her house burned down.
KFMB-TV reported Sunday that the homeowner, Torazzi Hayslett, said the officer, Sgt. Daniel McLaughlin, assaulted her Friday. The station also reported that Hayslett, who refused to appear on camera, wore a neckbrace during her interview.
In the video, filmed by Imperial Beach Patch photographer Khari Johnson, McLaughlin can be seen grabbing Hayslett and dragging her away from her home by the waist, before handing her off to her husband, Alex.
As her husband pushes her away from the house, Hayslett swings toward McLaughlin, seemingly scratching or slapping him on the chin. McLaughlin then walks toward her and begins reaching toward her, eventually grabbing her hair and pulling her down as her husband tries to move her away. One witness moves toward the confrontation but is intercepted by another officer just before the Haysletts separate from McLaughlin.
The Patch reported that Torazzi Hayslett was briefly detained, then released Friday. She told U-T San Diego Saturday she was in the process of hiring an attorney.
“My husband had me the whole time,” she said. “I’m like 110 pounds on a good day.”
Last year, a local jury found that McLaughlin was negligent and used “unreasonable force” in a 2009 confrontation with an advocate for the homeless, John David Ross, then 74 years old.
In that incident, Ross was distributing water to a group of homeless people from the back of his vehicle when McLaughlin pulled up and ordered the crowd to disperse. McLaughlin then threw one of the homeless men up against a wall, and when Ross asked what was happening, McLaughlin twisted his arm and threw him to the ground.
The jury found that despite his actions, McLaughlin was “acting in good faith” during the encounter.
“I’m very happy with the verdict,” McLaughlin said at the time. “I was found not to be at fault almost completely.”
Watch KFMB’s report on the confrontation between the Haysletts and McLaughlin, aired Sunday, below.