A Missouri woman is suing St. Louis County and a police officer after a Taser prong lodged in her eye and left her at a risk for blindness.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported that 22-year-old Melnique Logan filed the suit against the county and Officer Lewis Bouwman in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Monday.
A police report written by Bouwman indicated that officers found Logan, who suffers both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, being beaten by two women on the evening of March 15 while another woman filmed the attack.
“To try to stop the others from leaving, Logan kicked, punched and pulled on their car’s door and ignored Bouwman’s request to stop,” according to the Post-Dispatch.
The officer said that he fired his Taser because he feared being assaulted if he tried to engage Logan by hand. One of the Taser prongs lodged in her left arm and another prong lodged in her eye, which Bouwman blamed on the woman’s erratic movements.
Logan and the other three women were all charged with assault. Logan also faced additional charges for destruction of property and interfering with an officer.
The suit alleges that Logan suffered “painful vision loss and increased risk of permanent blindness.” It said that she had undergone multiple surgeries following the incident.
Attorney Steven Waterkotte, who was representing Logan, asserted that the charges had been “trumped-up” so that Bouwman could justify his use of force.
The lawsuit accuses St. Louis County of deliberate indifference and accuses Bouwman of excessive force. It is seeking at least $75,000.