WOMAN ALLEGES RB COP BRUTALITY
A West Long Branch woman claims in an interview with CBS News that she was wrongly charged with drunken driving and “mishandled by police in Red Bank just hours after she had surgery” and rear-ended another car on Broad Street last Wednesday afternoon.
“It was horrific, horrible,” she tells CBS 2.[Irma] Bottino, a 38 year-old mother, accuses a Red Bank police officer of roughing her up after she had liposuction surgery on her legs and arms that morning.
CBS newsman John Slattery reported the accident, in which no one was injured, occurred at the intersection of Broad and Waverly Place.
“He said to me you smell like alcohol. I told him it wasn’t possible,” she says.
Bottino claims she walked a line and told police of her surgery. She’d taken a painkiller, but said her doctor cleared her to drive. She had picked up her 6-year-old from school, and as she went back to her car, trying to call her husband, she says she was pulled out by police.
“He finished cuffing me, pulled me by the shoulder and arm, I said you’re hurting me, and he dragged me to the police car,” she says.
Bottino says she was in pain from her incisions and began bleeding. The 135-pound woman was taken to Riverview Medical Center, and says a six-foot tall officer, weighing 250 pounds, forcibly restrained her on a gurney by getting on top of her.
“I kept telling him get off of me. You’re hurting me,” she says.
Norman Hobbie, Bottino’s attorney, says the Breathalyzer test she was given was negative.
The report doesn’t identify the officer who arrested Bottino.
Red Bank police are saying only that Bottino, of West Long Branch, was charged at 3:04p last Wednesday with driving while intoxicated in a school zone, reckless driving, following too closely, aggravated assault on a police officer and physically resisting arrest.
CBS says the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office “is investigating whether the charges against Bottino should stick or be dropped, and whether charges against the police should be filed.”