Police Taser Pregnant Woman After Parking Dispute
William Lee and Andrew Zuick, WGN, Reporting, Courtesy CNN
CHICAGO, Illinois — Chicago police Tasered a pregnant woman before arresting her and her boyfriend during a dispute with officers in the parking lot of a Walgreens in the Roseland neighborhood Tuesday night, officials said, sparking an outcry from relatives of the couple.
Tiffany Rent, who relatives say is eight months pregnant, was taken to Roseland Community Hospital where a nursing supervisor said the baby appeared to be unharmed. Rent was treated and released, the supervisor said.
But Rent’s family said the 30-year-old Rent has lost three babies in the past and they plan to have her undergo more tests. “I’m outraged, just livid. Who does that?” said Rent’s sister, Shareeta Rent.
The incident occurred late Tuesday night when Rent was ticketed for parking in a handicapped spot at the Walgreens in the 11000 block of South Michigan Avenue, police said. Rent tore up the ticket and threw it at the officer and “attempted to take off,” according to a source reading from the police report.
At some point, an officer used a Taser on Rent and took her into custody, police said. Her boyfriend and father of the child, Joseph Hobbs, was also arrested when he tried to intervene, police said. He suffered a dislocated elbow during the arrest, officials said.
The police source indicated the officer who used the Taser may not have known Rent was pregnant. Her sister said a female officer at the scene noticed Rent was pregnant and suggested she be taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Shereeta Rent said her sister was Tasered while sitting in the SUV and was pulled out of the car by officers. She said Rent was taunted while she was on the ground.
“She said she felt very dizzy and she remembered being on the ground and all of these officers standing around her cracking jokes,” Shareeta Rent said.
She added that the arrests were witnessed by Rent’s 9-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, who Shareeta Rent said were left unattended in the car along with their mother’s purse and other personal items.
“How could you do that to a pregnant woman?” Rent said. “My niece and nephew are in the back seat of the car crying. They did that in front of her kids.”
Hobbs’ sister, Shahidah Hobbs said “the whole family is appalled because (neither) Tiffany nor Joseph are those type of people that are combative. They’re very laid back, very sociable?It’s ridiculous.”
Shareeta Rent said she hopes video surveillance from Walgreens caught the arrest. “Check the videotapes. The proof is in the pudding,” she said.
“We’re going to file complaints and go from there and hope to God something is done about this. This is ridiculous.,” she added.
Rent was charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and simple assault, and was cited for parking in a handicapped spot, police said. Hobbs was charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and simple assault.
Both families say they plan to attend a court hearing for the couple this morning at the police station at 727 E. 111th Street.