Updated: 01/22/2014 6:50 PM
Created: 01/22/2014 6:42 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
A Superior woman faces a felony charge of battery to a peace officer, but she said the officer used excessive force in her arrest. Video from a police dashboard camera captured some of the incident, but both sides are looking for video recorded by witnesses.
On Jan. 5, Natasha Lancour, 28, was arrested outside Keyport Lounge for allegedly striking a police officer. She doesn't agree with the felony charge filed against her.
“I knew it was wrong. I knew I didn't do it,” Lancour said.
She said it was hard to watch her arrest by Superior Police Officer George Gothner. Video from Gothner's dashboard camera shows him responding to the report of a fight in the bar's parking lot. Lancour's brother and brother-in-law were in handcuffs when Gothner arrived.
Lancour said she was upset by what was happening and yelling. She said Gothner grabbed her and began swearing while ordering her to back up and remain silent. Lancour said she swore back at the officer, and Gothner's report states he went to arrest her.
“That's when he turned back around, and he snatched me up and dragged me to the car,” Lancour said.
The video of the altercation shows Gothner forcing Lancour onto the hood of his vehicle. Gothner can be heard saying, “Stop resisting.” Lancour's head then hits the hood and she slips out of Gothner's grasp. The video also shows Gothner swinging at least twice at Lancour's head.
In his report Gothner writes, “Suddenly Lancour reached up with her left hand and struck and scratched me across the right side of my face.”
Gothner's report states that caused him pain and his reaction was a closed fist punch to Lancour's face. He wrote that it was meant to stop her actions.
Lancour said photos from the next day show bruising under her eye and swelling to her jaw.
“I looked at my face and I looked like cyclops. I didn't look like myself,” Lancour said.
Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse said the use of force in the arrest is being reviewed. Meanwhile he said Gothner remains on duty.
“We've sent this incident out for review by an outside agency, a use-of-force expert and instructor for over 20 years, and we don't have that result back yet so I can't comment on the findings of that,” LaGesse said.
He said the video shows bystanders recording or photographing the incident. LaGesse said those witness were not questioned the night of the incident, but he wants those witnesses to contact police.
A hearing in Lancour's case is scheduled for Jan. 31 and her defense attorney Rick Gondik also wants to hear from those witnesses.
“It's imperative that we find these gentlemen, in particular those that were taking video on their phones, before that date because we absolutely have to right this wrong,” Gondik said.
If anyone was right or wrong in this incident may ultimately be decided by the independent report and the courts. The results of the independent report are expected next week.
The police department said Officer Gothner would not be available for comment outside of what he put in his report.
Lancour and her attorney said she has never been arrested before, had not been drinking, and was the designated driver that night.
Supporters Hold Rally for UMD Coaches
Supporters for Shannon Miller and the rest of the UMD women's hockey staff rallied on campus Wednesday morning. This comes in reaction to Monday's announcement of UMD deciding not to extend the coaches' contracts.
Final IRRRB Meeting for Tony Sertich
IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich says farewell at his final meeting, which was quite a busy one.
Thieves Steal 2 Red Kettles in Hayward
Thieves have stolen two Salvation Army red kettles in Hayward in recent weeks, leaving the Sawyer County chapter with only three collection stands remaining to collect donations in the final week before Christmas. One kettle was believed to contain $300 to $400.
Sawyer Co. Homicide Charge Dropped
Prosecutors have dropped a homicide charge against a man in the death of his wife at a Sawyer County cabin after further investigation yielded more evidence. The charge against Cade G. Clark, 26, was dropped during a hearing on Wednesday.
MN Power Executive Addresses Rail Service Concerns in DC
Minnesota Power's Executive Vice President shared his concerns about rail service before a federal panel in Washington, D.C. Thursday.