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Details of the Abusive Arrest of Emily Patterson
I was threatened with a taser, illegally searched, left unconscious in a police car, refused my medication, refused my phone and wallet which I needed for numbers to call for help.
Date Created: 2019, May 10
Keywords: Emily Patterson, illegal, search, taser, abuse, Jensen Beach, Martin County, Florida
Site accessed 2,539,551 times.
This page accessed 1,497 times.
Recollections of interactions with Emmanuel Perez...
On January 3, 2019 I was sitting in my car at Pineapple Park on Jensen Beach Blvd checking email on my laptop when a sheriff pulled up to a few feet from the front of my vehicle. My driver side door was open for a breeze.
The officer asked where I lived. I honestly replied that I was homeless but lived in the Jensen Beach area. He asked how long I had been in town, I replied that I've been in Jensen Beach since March of 2012. He responded that he had never seen me around before. I find it odd that, since I'm homeless and moving around 24 hours a day, he had never seen me before. I simply responded that yep, got into town March of 2012.
He asked where I sleep. I honestly replied Jensen Beach or Stuart Causeway or a private property of a friend.
He mentioned that I had a really nice laptop for a homeless person. I responded that I bought it at Best Buy in Jensen Beach in November of 2015. It was actually quite inexpensive, less than $150. I may actually still have the receipt.
He demanded my ID. I quickly handed him my driver license. He demanded I remain in my car and walked to his patrol car. He returned a few minutes later and handed my driver license back to me. I asked for his name and badge number or a card with his name and badge number. He refused.
He then proceeded to copy down the plate number on my car, stating he was running it to make sure it wasn't a stolen vehicle. I offered to give him my registration and insurance card. I was told to keep my hands in plain sight and not to move.
At that time, two other patrol cars pulled into the parking lot.
As Perez wandered toward the other cars, he turned back, looked at me and told me, and I quote: Since you're homeless you know, you can expect to continue to be harrassed by the police, oh and searched.
The cars sat there a while. I continued to read emails associated from the web sites I manage, but left to another park since the three officers sitting almost directly in front of my car was very distracting.
I was trying to work. Not be harassed by police.
Considering my situation, police have often requested my identification, which I always provide. I believe that one way police in this area keep our community safe by checking identification of people they haven't seen before or who are in an area close to schools. I have never had a negative interaction with Martin County Sheriff prior to this event. I did not care for the insults, accusations and threats of harassment and being searched for no reason other than the fact that I don't make enough money to live indoors.
On May 4/5, 2019, I was at my storage unit in Jensen Beach gathering things I'd need to take to my boat to work on upgrades in the morning while the water was expected to be calm. I noticed a police car in the Publix parking lot which is located directly across the street from the storage unit I've rented for almost five years.
I left my storage unit and drove to the Jensen Beach Causeway were my newly acquired boat is anchored. I have an old jon boat I use to get to my boat from shore which I pull up on the beach area rather than clutter the boat launch area out of respect for other boaters and those from out of town.
I was in my legally parked car making a cigarette (I roll with tubes, a device and plain tobacco, only costs about 50 cents a day for the less than half pack I smoke a day) to smoke on the way to my boat which is anchored off the causeway.
Perez pulled up almost immediately after I parked and shined the light from his car into my car. As soon as I saw him, I recognized him from our initial meeting in January. I remembered his insults, accusations and threats. There was absolutely no one around. I got out of my car and closed and locked the doors, bringing the bag of tobacco and my ID with me. I placed both on the hood of my car.
I just wanted to go to my boat to check bilges, get washed, eat some food and get a few hours of sleep before starting additional work on the boat in the morning. I did not feel like wasting an hour of my life watching Perez ransack my car and spend an our cleaning it all back up. As well as watching him go through all my things for no reason, simply because he finds it amusing to continue to harass homeless people, as he stated in our initial meeting in January. Other homeless people have had trouble with this officer. I know that at least one has filed a formal complaint.
He demanded I unlock the car, I refused stating he had no probable cause to search my vehicle, I was sober, straight, tired and just wanted to go to my boat to check my bilges, get washed up, get something to eat and go to sleep for a few hours and work on boat on the morning while water was expected to be flat.
I walked approximately 15 feet from the front of my car south toward the river, running my hands over my head stating this was not something I felt like going through tonight, I just wanted to go out to my boat, check my bilges and anchor lines and go to bed.
He walked over and grabbed my right wrist, lead me back to the car. I was terrified and walked with him. He pushed me against the car, while still holding my right wrist in a control hold, pinching the tendon, intentionally causing pain in a way that won't leave a mark again demanded I unlock the car, demanded my keys. I asked him to release my arm because he was hurting me for no reason. Perez pulled a taser out and was waving it in my face telling me how bad it was going to hurt when he tased me. And again ordered me to give him the keys to my car. He was using profanity which I had never before heard out of the mouth of any law enforcement officer in Martin County.
I unlocked the car, but not for him, I was trying to get to my phone so I could contact someone to come help me. He put his arm in front of me blocking my entrance to the car and told me to back up and demanded to know where the drugs, guns, needles, pills whatever I was hiding that had me so upset. I told him I was only upset because I just wanted to go check my bilges, get cleaned up, eat some dinner and get a few hours of sleep on my boat. It was already one in the morning and I was tired and just wanted to go to bed.
He told me he had seen me all over the place, but never saw me on the water. However, I have worked and stayed on many boats over the last seven years in Jensen Beach. Drew's houseboat installing anchor light and properly functioning head, Matt's houseboat both unsinking it and cleaning it after it was afloat, Tim's sailboat while he was in jail to keep an eye on it, Wayne's sailboat which I almost bought, Brian's sailboat helping him when he needed a hand and boats of people I know from out of town. Additionally, during July or early August of 2015, when there was a boat full of photographers, reporters and Sheriff Snyder inspecting boats for illegal discharges of waste, I was on one of the boats boarded. I was actually contracted to renovate the boat for the owner, the first thing I was doing was installing a proper waste holding system. I had proper waste containers for my waste while working on the boat until the proper waste management system was installed. I may even have the pictures I took of the boat full of police and reporters while it was tied to a neighboring boat for inspection.
Brian Gallagher sold me his old boat when he purchased a larger boat. It's a 1980 30 foot Chris Craft - needs work and the motors are winterized. It is solid enough for a renovation and resale and check motors later. I've been on the water a lot lately helping Brian and Kim with the move from the boat sold to me to the boat they recently purchased. I was also staying with a friend from out of town, who owns a 51 foot Morgan sailboat who anchored off the causeway on his return trip from the Bahamas because he needed equipment and knew that he could depend on me for a ride to area stores. He anchored on the Causeway in February and had just left town a week before this incident. I met him when he anchored last fall and asked around for a ride to get equipment and fresh goods from the grocery store before he was headed to the Bahamas. People from out of town like Jensen Beach Causeway because it's a free place to anchor and locals locals are happy to help take them shopping in the area.
I've already started the renovation on the boat. Interior cleaning is done, leaks from exterior have been addressed, an automatic bilge float switch has already been installed and is being monitored daily to ensure it continues to work properly. Required safety equipment was already gathered including fire extinguishers, flare gun and flares, sounding device, first aid kit, life jackets, etc. The waste system is being upgraded, old tank removed and new tanks of the proper dimensions along with tubing, vent, etc is being priced. A proper anchor light with photo switch have been purchased, but now fear of going anywhere near the causeway is preventing me from continuing work on the boat - including posting my registration sticker on the boat. I've put a ton of time and effort into my newly acquired boat, just to end up being too terrified of police to go out and work on improvements.
While ransacking my car, Perez mockingly asked me how I got to whichever boat I was claiming was mine. I told him with the dinghy I pull up on the sand on the beach over the little knoll and the paddle that was in the car. Kind of hard to miss since I have to put the back seat down and it barely fits when pushed through from the trunk to the back of the front seat. Told him I had the bill of sale and the title in my glove compartment.
I moved slowly to the passenger side of the car to reach the documentation for the boat and my phone to try to get someone there to help me. There was NO ONE else around. He ordered me to sit. As terrified as I was after having a taser waved in front of my face, I sat in the sand beside the front passenger wheel of my car.
During the illegal, unwaranted search of my car, he found a small personal pipe and less than 20 grams of marijuana. No pills, no cocaine, no heroin, no fentanyl, no syringes, no alcoholic beverages, no guns, no knives, no stolen property. Just a little bit of weed and a small personal pipe.
During the illegal search of my car, another officer arrived. I was just sitting there in the sand. The officer mentioned that I was not kicking and screaming. Perez stated that the officer should have seen me just a few minutes ago, I was all over the place kicking, screaming and yelling profanity. I just sat there knowing I was toast. There is not one mark on me caused by all this supposed kicking and screaming I was supposedly doing.
There was no dirt on my clothes other than sand on my pants from sitting in the sand beside my car.
Perez was finally done destroying my car. He stated he was writing me a citatation for the marijuana and paraphenalia. I said, whatever. He stated he needed to restrain me. I asked what he meant, I was just sitting right there where he told me to sit. He more forcefully stated he was going to write me a citation and needed to restrain me. I, with matching increased forcefullness, stated that I did not know what he meant or wanted me to do.
With that, Perez and the other officer grabbed my arms, brought me to standing, put handcuffs on me and put me in the back of Perez's patrol car.
I noticed that neither patrol car had flashing lights on.
I have a lung condition. I have a prescription for Albuterol inhaler, which I use a few times a day. I was having a panic attack and my lungs were in a clench. I needed my inhaler to release the cramp in my lungs. With what breath I could muster, I requested my inhaler from my car console or bag with my wallet, my wallet and my cell phone so I could have numbers I needed to call for help. I do not memorize numbers.
I was refused my medication. I was refused my wallet. I was refused my cell phone.
While I was struggling to breathe, Perez kept making rude comments such as if I could breathe enough to talk, I wasn't going to drop dead on him.
I was unconscious before we left the causeway. I was unconscious the entire trip to the jail. I began regaining consciousness while being pulled from the police car. Since I couldn't walk, my legs were way too weak yet, I was dragged across the interior carport toward the entrance of the women's jail. Perez was telling everyone that I was faking, just adding drama, that I was kicking and screaming profanity all over the back seat of the car on the way over. I was not, I was unconscious before we even left the Jensen Beach Causeway.
A woman came out of the door and while all the others around me were claiming I was faking, that they'd seen better acting at a second grade play, stand the fuck up and walk, and so on, she took one look at me struggling to get my legs under me, said that they weren't brining me in there, take me to the hospital.
I was tossed back into the police car, where I continued to try to relax and get my lungs to unclench and focus on my breathing, still begging as much as I could for an inhaler or breathing treatment. I was fading in and out of consciousness from shock, previous lack of oxygen, shock and unbelievable emotional stress, when the ambulance showed up. One of the medics took great pleasure in rubbing his knuckle on my sternum as hard as he could when I could not respond to his questions fast enough to suit him. I was having trouble understanding what he was saying. All I was doing was focusing on my breathing so my lung didn't collapse. I have a history of collapsed lung and this type of respiratory stress was something that could collapse my lung.
At the hospital, my blood oxygen was up to normal, my blood pressure so perfect they were all saying that they wished they had my blood pressure. I told them that my blood pressure and oxygen should be high considering the stress I was under. I knew I needed a breathing treatment or inhaler to unclench my lungs. When the doctor listened to my lungs, he could hear no wheezing, because my lungs were in a clench, I don't wheeze when I don't have lung volume, there isn't enough oxygen flow.
I requested a different officer since I was terrified of Perez. I was given a smirk by the officer at the hospital and Perez took my arm and lead me out of the hospital. I requested he didn't touch me, but was ignored.
I was shoved back into Perez's police car and taken to the jail. Conscious at this point, Perez ignored speed limits, whipping me all over the place in the back seat, and did not have his flashing lights on.
When we arrived at the jail I was asked a bunch of questions by a lot of different people. I was in shock and trying to stay focused on my breathing. Constantly reliving when Perez had hold of my wrist and was waving the tazer in my face. It was totally terrifying.
I was taken to medical where I continued to demand a breathing treatment or albuterol inhaler to unclench my lungs. The nurse finally came in, took blood oxygen and blood pressure which was dropping. She was able to make a call and get a breathing treatment set up in less than ten minutes. I do not recall what the blood pressure had gone down to, but she continued to monitor my blood pressure until the breathing treatment started having effect on unclenching my lungs and my blood pressure began to come back up.
I was asked if I had been given any food. I responded that I had not been given any food. Had not eaten since the day before around four in the afternoon. I was on my way home to eat and go to bed when assaulted by Perez around midnight. I had been in police custody ever since so no, I had no food and was not feeling well at all. I was brought a tray of what they call food - processed crap.
I started begging to be told some way to get in contact with people who would help me. I needed my phone so I could have the numbers of people who would help me. I was ignored. I was told that there's a phone in my cell, which there was, that I could use at any time. I explained the officer would not allow me to take my phone, what was I to do?
I layed down, slept a couple hours and was awoken to be taken to the initial hearing. I was handcuffed to another woman who had not been in jail before. She and I had no clue what to do to get out, because we had no way to contact people who would help us.
At the hearing they said something about me refusing a public defender. I do not recall. I do recall that when asked if I would have a public defender or a lawyer, I stated that I didn't know because I didn't know what the was going on. All I was doing was going to my boat to go to bed after work and was assaulted by a cop who had hold of my wrist and was waving a taser in my face demanding I open my car and tell him where my guns and drugs were. This is insane.
I was handcuffed to a different woman for the walk back. She whispered to me that I had to demand a bail bonds sheet until I actually got it, don't let up until they gave it to me. Then, go through the bail bonds places and call and have bail bonds people call places where I know people who would help me worked.
I demanded the sheet until it was passed to me through the opening in the door. I called three of people I know who could and would get me out of there. A bail bonds person would have required only $100, or total bond was $250. The first person I had a bail bonds place call had me out of there at 6:30.
They were also in shock over what happened to me. So was everyone else who knows me.
While gathering documentation for this write-up, I called Martin County Dispatch for information regarding officer who ran my plate on January third. Supposedly, no one ran my plate in January at all. It seems as though Perez copied down my license plate to be sure it was me for his self-stated continued harassment and search of a struggling homeless woman.
Saturday evening I sat at a picnic table on the Jensen Beach Causeway. Too afraid to go to the back lot where I had parked and left my dinghy. So I sat there, tweeting and drinking a coffee. A patrol car entered the Jensen Beach Causeway on the northwest access ramp. I was sitting in pavilion 12 on the northwest corner. The patrol car creeped past me, continued down around the circle and creeped past me again, stopped behind my car, pulled in beside my car, then backed out and drove past me a third time, very slowly as the times before. The car proceeded to the circle on the causeway, crept past me a fourth time and then continued toward the causeway bridge. I was terrified. Shaking, instant diarrhea, chest tight, the bruising to the bone from sternum rubs to keep me conscious hurting, the memory of the terror while having a cop waving a taser in my face and threatening to use it going through my thoughts.
I am now suffering post traumatic stress from this series of events. I get sick to my stomach and shake every time a cop is around. The taser in my face with no one around to help me at all was the most terrifying event in my life. He might as well have been holding a gun to my head, it wouldn't have been any more terrifying.
I was legally parked in an area often used by boaters. I was simply gathering my things to go out to my boat so I could work on it in the morning while the water was calm. It's no different than if I had parked on the street and was gathering my things to enter an apartment and was assaulted by a cop.
I've had four dinghys and oars stolen. Others I know suffer the same. Some even have had motors stolen. How about instead of assaulting an old homeless woman over a little bit of weed, Perez gets off his ass and looks for people stealing dinghys, oars, dinghy motors and such from both those who live here and those passing through?
---------- PEREZ STATEMENT AND MY RESPONSE ---------
As I stated, I wrote my recollection before reading the obviously false statement by Sheriff Perez...
On 5/4/2019 at approximately 0048 hours, while patrolling the Jensen Beach Causeway, I noticed a single vehicle a tan colored Hyundai on the far west corner of the bridge parked facing southbound. I could see that the vehicle was occupied, but there was movement. I conducted a welfare check and began approaching the vehicle. (he did not mention following me down from storage, eh?) As I got closer to the driver side of the vehicle I was able to clearly see (Arrestee) Emily Mae Patterson. She turned back at me (was grabbing ID) and quickly began exiting her vehicle. Once Patterson exited the vehicle, and the driver side door was completely open, I could smell a strong odor of freshly burnt cannabis. (not true, I don't smoke in my car: ever.) Patterson quickly entered her vehicle and placed a small metallic smoking pipe as I got closer to the vehicle. (Not true: I never re-entered my vehicle.)
Patterson began walking away from me as I asked for her identification. (My ID was on the hood of the car. He did not even have to request it, I put it on the hood of the car for him to retrieve.) I explained to Patterson that I needed her name and identification. (Didn't happen, I had already provided my name and he retrieved my license I willingly brought from the car with me for him to run.) Patterson refused to cooperate she began walking away approximately 10-20 feet from her vehicle.
Post Miranda (or post-taser threatening and tendon grinding on my forearm) Patterson agreed to speak to me regarding the smell in the vehicle. (Actually, he was demanding to know where my gun was, cocaine, pills, needles and so on. Kept saying Nope, none in there. Because there had been no smell. I NEVER smoke in my vehicle. He never even mentioned weed.). Patterson stated she was in posession of half an ounce of weed or less. (Nope, his illegal search recovered less than 20 grams) Inside the vehicle I recovered a clear bag of a green leafy substance (cannabis) from inside a brown book-bag on the passenger side of the vehicle. (He was very agitated that all he found was a little weed and a small pipe. He even flat out stated that he "wasted all this time for a little bit of fucking weed?")
Deputy Washington arrived on scene.
I noticed the bag appeared to be less than 20 grams. Therefore, I explained to Patterson that I was going to seize the cannabis and that I was going to issue her a notice to appear. Patterson became very angry and stated that I did not have the authority to take the cannabis or issue any paperwork. I explained to Patterson several times that she needed to sign the notice to appear and that if she refused she would be arrested and transported to the jail. (He stated he needed to restrain me. I asked what he meant, I was just sitting right there where he told me to sit. He more forcefully stated he was going to write me a citation and needed to restrain me. I, with matching increased forcefullness, stated that I did not know what he meant or wanted me to do.)
Patterson stated "no" and sat down on the ground. (That's total bullshit. I was sitting on the ground the entire time Perez was ransacking my car and demanding I tell him where the drugs and my gun are. Uh, nope, none in there, sorry. I was sitting on the ground when Washington arrived.) At that time she was placed under arrest for
893.13 (6b)Poss under 20 grams (cannabis)
843.03 Obstruction w/o violence
893.147 Posession of drug paraphenalia
and was transported to Martin County Jail. Upon arrival at the jail Patterson refused to exit the patrol vehicle. (Wait, no mention of me begging for my medication, my phone for help, my wallet so I could call someone to come get me? No mention of me only being able to get out one or two syllables at a time since my lung volume was cut by around half without my medication under such extreme stress and terror? No mention of unconsciousness? Hm.) Patterson stated that she could not breathe, although she was yelling that she shouldn't have been arrested. (I was saying Inhaler, breathing treatment, that man stuck a taser in my face, please, help, all in stunted sentences with what little lung capacity I had. No mention, either, of dragging me across the floor since, after just regaining consciousness, I could NOT walk although I was trying as hard as I could to get my feet under me.)
Rescue 2 responded on scene and transported Patterson to Martin North for medical clearance. Once medically cleared I transported Patterson back to the Martin County Jail.
The total weight of the cannabis was 17 grams. The cannabis was field tested using my department issued test kit. The cannabis and the smoking pipe was submitted to evidence. The vehicle remained properly parked at the Jensen Beach Causeway per Patterson's request.
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