ARLINGTON – The parents of the teen who say she was videotaped being slammed to the ground by an Arlington police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against him.
Julie and Kirk Perry vowed legal action two weeks after their daughter was filmed being whipped to the concrete by a policeman after a summer dance party got out of control and spilled into a parking lot outside 1010 Collins St. in August.
The “unruly” crowd, as the lawsuit describes it, prompted the organizers to shut it down early. When Kelcey Perry walked into the fracas outside, the lawsuit says she was assaulted from behind “by one or two of a pair of female teens” who would soon be pressuring the 15-year-old and her sister to fight.
Police had been dispatched to the scene. The lawsuit says “a small phalanx of officers” walked through the lot to disperse the crowd. At first, Kelcey’s left alone, but then one of the officers –– six feet tall, between 190 and 220 pounds, the lawsuit says –– doubles back and grabs Kelcey from behind.
He then “heaves” Perry, picking her up so that her “feet travel more than a foot off the ground” and slams her into the pavement, the lawsuit says. Her face was scraped during the dustup and the lawsuit says the officer also used his pepper spray on her.
Photos of Kelcey’s injuries appear to show several scrapes on her face and bruising and redness on her back and shoulder.
Perry was ticketed for fighting in public, a charge that she pled not guilty to in September. The lawsuit says the officer told her, “I had to give you a ticket to explain to my boss why I sprayed you.”
In August, the family’s attorney filed court papers to question potential witnesses so they could identify the officer in the video.
That was Ofc. Dylan Eckstrom, a seven-year veteran of the force. The Arlington Police Department vowed to investigate the incident. When asked for comment, department spokeswoman Tiara Richard said the internal investigation is in "the final review process."
Eckstrom’s attorney, Arlington-based James Jeffrey, was not available to speak about the lawsuit.
The family is seeking compensation for past and future mental anguish; court and medical expenses; physical pain and suffering; and loss of earnings.