Woman involved in a controversial New Year's day arrest talks

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by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 7 at 10:45 AM

AUSTIN -- The woman involved in a controversial arrest by Austin police on New Year's weekend tells her side of the story.  Photos taken shortly after 1 a.m. New Year's Day show APD officers Patrick Oborski and Robert Snider arresting a 28-year-old who only wants to be identified by her first name. Norma. 

"Definitely it was the worst night of my life," said Norma.  "I have never been treated so abusive by a police officer." 

A court affidavit states that despite being warned repeatedly, Norma was extremely intoxicated and would not stop advising her friend,  the driver, not to take a breath test. Norma said the bruises on her arms and legs are evidence the officers crossed the line.

"They crossed the line with the way they treated me and the way they arrested me," said Norma. "For someone to just yank me out of my car for yelling at my friend her rights I don't think is okay."

Norma says she's not surprised to learn that KVUE News has been contacted by a lawyer representing another woman who claims Officer Oborski treated her in a similar fashion.

"If it wouldn't have happened to me, yes I would be very surprised, but it happened to me," she said. 

The photos were taken by 34-year-old Antonio Beuhler, who was taken down and arrested by the same officers and ultimately charged with harassment of a public servant, a third degree felony. 

Norma says she is just glad that Beuhler was not afraid to act.

"I am very thankful, because I have never been in any kind of trouble like this," said Norma.  "To know that someone was there to defend me and help me out means a lot to me.  It shows me I was really in no position to be treated the way I was."

Norma was charged with public intoxication. She and her lawyer adamantly maintain she is not guilty of that charge.

KVUE News has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to find out how many times, if any, complaints have been filed against officers Oborski and Snider.

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