Woman Sues Pantego Police Over Burst Breast Implant

Woman says implant ruptured during arrest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An Arlington woman who says excessive force by a Pantego police officer caused her breast implant to burst is suing the city.

    A North Texas woman who says a Pantego police officer caused her breast implants to rupture during an arrest is suing the town.

    Rebecca Van Hooser said the officer threw her against her car when he arrested her during a traffic stop on Bowen Road.

    The Pantego officer pulled her over on a headlight violation and arrested her after learning she had a warrant for an unpaid speeding ticket.

    "She gets out of the car, [the officer] grabs her, throws her against the car, spreads her legs -- kicks -- spreads her legs and grabs her arms and forcefully pulls them out and yanks them very hard behind her back," said her attorney, Susan Hutchison.

    Hutchison said throwing Van Hooser against the car caused her breast implant to burst.

    "She's screaming in pain, and his response is, 'This isn't supposed to be comfortable,'" Hutchison said.

    Van Hooser spent the night in jail.

    Her attorney said the rupture has led to health problems.

    "She's had a number of surgeries," Hutchison said. "She had two hematomas as a result, and she's going to have to have a partial mastectomy, tissue transplant and a new implant."

    Hutchison said the lawsuit is not just about her client's medical problems.

    "We respect police officers," she said. "We're glad they're out there protecting us. When you arm someone with a gun and a badge and the authority that they have over people, you've got to train them appropriately, and they have got to be able to react reasonably and responsibly."

    Pantego officials said the town has complete faith in its police force. The town said its officers always conduct themselves in the most professional manner.

    Hutchison said the damages Van Hooser will seek have not yet been determined.