An evening out for two sisters-in-law who were celebrating Mother’s Day early at a Forest Park bar in the wee hours of May 1 ended with one woman being arrested and Tasered twice by a Forest Park police officer.
Latasha Batie, 26, and her sister-in-law Alaina Davis, left Chicago to spend the evening at Tonik Bar, 7247 Roosevelt Rd. The women and some of Davis’ friends were at the bar for an hour when Batie got into a fight, was ejected, arrested and Tasered twice. Months later, Batie has made allegations of excessive use of force.
Batie and her sister-in-law claim she was hit in the back of the head at the bar when the fight erupted, but former bouncer Samier Abuosba, who ejected Batie, denied this.
Batie said she was handcuffed, led to the rear of a squad car and then Tasered for refusing to quiet down.
“I didn’t shut up, so he [officer] Tased [sic] me,” Batie said. The device, which is advertised as a non-lethal weapon, was purportedly placed against her thigh, and she was hit with an arc of electricity, which can reach up to 50,000 volts.
“I’m handcuffed. How could I do something? Did I hit you? Did I touch you? You Tase me ’cause I said I wasn’t gonna shut up?” she rhetorically asked.
Club owner Nik Pervan and Davis said they saw her being Tasered outside the vehicle.
The officer that wielded the Taser reported that Batie was first stunned for refusing to place her leg inside the vehicle. Batie, however, said this happened the second time, when she purportedly collapsed in pain in the backseat and ignored commands to place her leg inside. Subsequently, she said she was stunned for “six to eight seconds.” It was longer than the first time and the pain was excruciating, according to Batie.
“It made me shake in my skin,” she said. “I never felt anything like that in my life.”
“I don’t know if that [Tasering] was completely necessary,” Pervan said, conceding her behavior was “erratic.”
Police said Batie’s second go with the Taser was done after she kicked out the rear passenger’s side window. Flying glass reportedly cut an officer’s arm. Batie claims she broke the window out of anger for being Tasered twice.
The same officer, and a colleague using a baton for leverage, reportedly could not put Batie into another squad car after the window was broken out, so she was Tasered again.
“I think the officers handled the situation well. They did their job to the full extent,” Abuousba said.
Abuousba also said Batie was Tasered after the window was broken out.
The officer reported that Batie was tasered on the left thigh, although a report from Cermak Health Services, on the Cook County Dept. of Corrections campus, cites two Taser wounds on Batie’s right thigh.
In an e-mail, Deputy Tom Aftanas stated it was an error. He provided a supplemental report of the incident, which states that Batie was, in fact, Tasered on the right thigh.
Police have not responded to a request for an interview with the officer. Aftanas said he would speak with him, but could not directly comment on the incident.
On the advice of her council, Batie pleaded guilty after a deal was reached. She will serve one year probation for felony criminal damage to state property and resisting a peace officer, a misdemeanor. Batie, who has three boys, said she was told she would face time if she didn’t plead guilty, despite her insistence that excessive use of force occurred.
“I was kind of in the wrong,” Batie admitted. But, “there was no need for him to Tase [sic] me. Twice.”