SDPD sergeant seen in hair-pulling incident under investigation
Video shows sergeant pulling woman by hair
Last Updated: 414 days ago
SAN DIEGO - A distraught woman whose house was on fire -- and who was being pulled away from the fire by her husband -- had her hair pulled by a San Diego police sergeant in a videotaped incident that prompted an internal police investigation on Sunday.
San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown told U-T San Diego that "due to allegations arising from this incident, we are conducting an internal investigation into the matter," and because it was a personnel matter police could not make further comment.
In the video, which was filmed by a photojournalist for the Imperial Beach Patch, the sergeant is seen trying to pull the woman's head to the street moments after she flailed and her open hand had passed within inches of the officer's face.
The incident occurred late Friday afternoon outside the smoldering house in the 2000 block of Ilex Avenue in Nestor.
The video appeared to show the officer, identified by the Imperial Beach Patch as San Diego police Sgt. Daniel McLaughlin, grabbing Torazzi Hayslett and pulling her back as she took off toward a group of firefighters outside the burning home.
A man identified by the publication as Hayslett's husband Alex grabbed ahold of his wife, who then allegedly swung her open hand repeatedly at the sergeant. It was unclear if she made contact.
Hayslett, a teacher, told the newspaper she believed the sergeant overreacted and she was in the process of hiring an attorney.
McLaughlin was also involved in a 2009 incident that injured an advocate for the homeless. A jury in that case found he used unreasonable force and was negligent, U-T San Diego reported.
Watch 10News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for reaction to the video from a retired law enforcement officer and his thoughts on how the sergeant acted.
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