Lawsuit Claims Airport Cop Used Excessive Force

SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - A woman has filed a suit against Spokane international Airport, claiming one of the airport's police officers roughed her up when she refused to accept a parking ticket.

Back in 2008, Sharon Kelly parked her car at the curb at the airport and walked away, something that airports tell you not to do. By the time she returned to her vehicle, SIA Police Officer Dale Olsen was writing her a ticket.

"I was hollering to him that's my car and I'm here and he didn't even turn around to acknowledge and I know he heard me because I have a loud voice and it carries," Kelly said.

Kelly refused the citation and when the then 71-year-old woman said she tried to move her car to a legal parking spot Officer Olsen tired to grab her car keys.

"That man never spoke a civil word to me in all the time this was going on, and so he grabs the door and opens it again, was literally dragging me out of the car," she said.

Olsen then told Kelly she was under arrest and cuffed Olsen's hand behind her back while she was still in the car. Kelly was taken to the airport police department where she says her clothing and purse were searched and Kelly charged with resisting arrest.

Kelly's lawsuit alleges the officer committed battery.

"He had a hold of my arm like this and he was gripping it so tight that, I kid you not, it took six months for those bruises to disappear," she claimed.

According to another lawsuit, this wasn't the first time Olsen has been accused of using excessive force.

In a second lawsuit, a California man trying to move his luggage to his rental car when, according to Scott Lindstrom-Dake, Officer Olsen grabbed him when he was reaching for his wallet and rental agreement and handcuffed him so hard it broke the skin on his wrists.

Lindstrom-Dake also ended up being detained and was cited for refusing to give information to a police officer.

All criminal charges against both Kelly and Lindstrom-Dake were later dropped.

The airport board settled with Lindstrom -Dake out of court, but Kelly wants her civil rights case heard in front of a jury.

"Olsen just wanted to be sure that everybody to know that I'm the boss here. Everybody know your place because I'm in charge," Kelly said.

Olsen retired from the Spokane Airport Police Department more than a year ago.

Last month the airport lost its bid to have Kelly's case dismissed, meaning her case will now move forward in federal court.