Police reported for pepper spraying epileptic
David Landes · 5 Sep 2008, 11:25
Published: 05 Sep 2008 11:25 GMT+02:00
On August 1st, the woman was on her way home from an evening out with friends when she suffered a seizure, reports the Smålands Posten newspaper.
An ambulance quickly arrived on the scene, but emergency workers were unable to calm the woman.
“They called the police for help by I tried to explain to them that she has epilepsy. She has proof from her doctor that she is sick and can easily become aggressive when she suffers an attack,” one of the woman’s friends told the paper.
Four police arrived and began questioning the woman’s friends as to whether she had taken any drugs and how much alcohol she’d consumed.
Meanwhile the woman suffered a new onslaught of cramps, causing her to drift out of consciousness.
Police first wanted to arrest the woman, but her friends protested.
Finally, police and emergency personnel managed to get the woman into the ambulance and take her to the hospital.
On the way to the hospital, the woman regained consciousness and began to lash out at the police riding with her in the ambulance.
“I panicked when it was dark in the ambulance and two people were holding my arms and legs,” the woman told the newspaper.
It was then that police pulled out a can of pepper spray and showered the woman with the potent irritant.
Apparently their aim was not very precise, however.
“They evidently got spray on themselves too because we were forced to stop and air out the ambulance,” explained the woman.
It took several days for the woman’s eyes to stop itching, and she was left with several bruises from the rough treatment she received from police.
Her case was taken up by the local epilepsy association (Epilepsiföreningen), who filed a complaint with the ombudsman on her behalf.
The group feels that police should be better informed about the disease and ought to have known better than to spray someone suffering an epileptic seizure with pepper spray.
“I’m so ashamed and think it’s my fault when I have an attack,” said the woman.