A mom was reportedly kicked out of her SUV, beaten and dragged by an officer with her three-year-old daughter in the back seat. The two children, ages one and two, were in a passenger seat.
According to The Huffington Post, Andrea Lyden left her home in Indiana on Saturday. The 54-year-old mother was on her way to her daughter’s elementary school. Her two older children with her got in the vehicle from a friend’s home on Cherrydale Road. Her 2-year-old daughter, Chastity, was inside the vehicle with Lyden while her 6-year-old son, Archie, was in the back seat.
The mother reportedly got in the back seat to see her 11-year-old daughter playing outside and accidentally put her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake. Her 3-year-old daughter’s foot wandered around the car’s gas pedal.“I panicked and it took me some time to get the car out.”
When Lyden pulled into a gas station on her way to get gas, she encountered a police officer who asked if she was with her children. The officer told Lyden that she could not take them out.“That is clearly a crime and a violation of their parents’ right.”
The officer pushed a blue folder containing her booking information onto Lyden’s phone and proceeded to drag her out of the car in an attempt to get her to answer the police officer’s questions. Lyden’s daughter and Archie were reportedly standing in the rear seat as her mother’s other daughter sat in the front seat. The child showed the officers a white rag covering the back seat of the car and told the officer that her two older brothers “would not quit screaming if I let them out” if Lyden failed to answer his questions.
Once Lyden was on the ground, the officer told her that she would be charged with reckless driving and other charges if she did not move out of the vehicle. Once she was on the ground, the officer questioned her daughter and Archie. The two young children immediately claimed that they never heard their mother speak to the officer. They then placed their hands over their mouths to stop the police officer from kicking and stomping on them. The 3-year-old was then taken to the hospital to have a medical evaluation. The attorney representing the kids, Andy Rothman, said that their mother is a paid employee for Sweet K, LLC, an animal care company.
The mother was then placed on administrative leave without pay and faces possible civil or criminal charges.
Natalie Obilus-Linden, the executive director of the Humane Society of Indiana, issued a statement of her reaction to the situation.“The Humane Society of Indiana strongly believes in upholding the most basic of human rights, including due process and free speech.”
Lyden denied wrongdoing in her police encounter.“I didn’t break any laws. What they were saying was crazy, but they seemed to believe it.”
An officer said that he made the right decision in how he handled the situation and that was the best thing he could have done.