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UT student bruised on arms and legs after resisting arrest | News

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UT student bruised on arms and legs after resisting arrest

Tampa, Florida - It is a video becoming increasingly popular on YouTube.

The clip was taken last Friday when a rap concert was taking place on the UT campus.  Lupe Fiasco was performing.

The video shows a young woman on the ground with a Tampa police officer and a security guard on top of her, striking her as they try to place her under arrest.

However, she was out of control, drunk and resisted the entire time, say witnesses.

The woman in the video is 21-year-old Nicholette Hitzke from Wisconsin. 

10 News spoke with her exclusively Thursday.  She told us, "I have bruises all over my arms and legs where they grabbed me.  I didn't want this to happen.  This has been awful.  I'm in the middle of finals week. It's been crazy."

What was crazy, cops say, is her behavior.

Tampa Police Spokeswoman Laura McElroy told us, "Well, it's unfortunate that the video doesn't tell the whole story.  The rest of the story makes it clear that the officer was doing the right thing."

According to the police report, Hitzke was heavily intoxicated, argumentative and uncooperative.  In fact, records show she assaulted a security guard while leaving the concert and was disruptive. 

That's when TPD was called in to help.

McElroy said, "The level of force that was used in this situation was 100 percent dictated by suspect's actions.  If she had complied, she would have been handcuffed."

Tampa police say the young woman took off running when they told her she was under arrest. Documents show that once she was on the ground, she refused to comply and shoved her hands under her stomach.  

TPD maintains that they used a common police procedure to place her under arrest.  It's called a pain compliance action, where an officer strikes suspects in the arm to get them to release their hands in an effort to place handcuffs on the individual.

McElroy told us, "He gave one clear order after another, release your hands, release your hands, release your hands.  She refused, and the officer struck her in arm multiple times."

UT students admit that this video is the buzz around campus.  At first when they saw the petite young woman, only five foot three, on the ground, they thought the cops went overboard.

Then, when they heard about her behavior, they changed their minds.

One student said, "Obviously, if she wasn't following rules, and was belligerent. They have to do what they can to get her under control."

Another told us, "It did say she was running around and not cooperating and being told what to do."

The young woman is facing several misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct.


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