TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) –
An Atlanta family says they’re pressing charges after a frightening encounter with a Tybee Island police officer.
Arynne Keeley said she and her dog Miley were originally cleared by other officials on the beach, but just as she was headed to her car, a police officer approached her.
At first, she thought it was a misunderstanding, but she said she found herself cuffed with her face pressed against the hot pavement.
“It was so scary, it was so scary,” Keeley recalled. What was supposed to be a happy 23rd birthday spent at the beach turned into her worst nightmare.
“I heard him radio to the officer that was responding, ‘she’s a service animal everything is alright’ and he let us continue walking,” said Keeley. “He didn’t follow us or anything. As I was walking to my car a police officer pulls up behind and puts on his siren.”
Keeley said the officer, who she identified as Corporal Taylor, became increasingly aggressive after asking her for identification. That’s when Miley the dog, who is trained to protect her, lunged toward him.
When her father saw what was happening, she said he ran towards the officer.
She said the officer exclaimed, ‘Who do you think you are yelling at? Who do you think you’re yelling at?’
She added the officer then grabbed her father and threw him on the ground, and that her dad was just trying to get the officer’s attention.
“All he said was ‘officer, officer,’ he wasn’t saying anything derogatory towards him. He was just trying to get his attention so I could secure Miley properly,” said Keeley.
After trying to walk away and secure her dog, Keeley found herself in handcuffs.
“He was rogue, it was the most insane thing I had ever seen in my life,” said Keeley. “I was just begging for another officer to get there so they could just have some sort of control because he had no self-control — he refused to call back up, he wouldn’t.”
Ryan Sadowsky who manages the Breakfast Club, a restaurant nearby witnessed the altercation.
“I really think our police department does a great job here. I’ve lived here my entire life love those guys, just this particular incident just seemed over the top,” said Sadowsky. “Just like an overreaction.”
The City of Tybee issued this statement:
“We are a looking at the incident and gathering all of the available information. we will be turning it over to the Chatham County Sheriff Department to conduct an investigation of the incident. once the investigation is complete we will take appropriate action.”
The Keeley family is planning to press charges, but they were told by the police department that they can’t do that until their own charges are dropped.