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Mesa police release body camera video from incident that injured grandmother

Posted at 10:13 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 18:38:18-05

Mesa police have released several records in connection with an incident between officers and an 84-year-old woman on Valentine's Day that left her bloodied and bruised.

A family member called 911 asking for a welfare check at a home near McKellips and Gilbert roads, police say the call was from a mother concerned her son had expressed a desire to commit suicide with a handgun.

Officers arrived to find someone matching the description of the son and watched him go into a home. While trying to get him to come out, the 84-year-old woman walked out the front door.

In a statement posted to Facebook Wednesday, Chief Ramon Batista said officers tried to get the woman to come toward them and away from the potential danger in front of the house. 

When she tried to walk back toward the home, officers decided to detain her behind a patrol car. During that process, she was taken to the ground.

The grandmother's family spoke to ABC15 about the incident last week, saying officers had been warned to handle the grandmother carefully due to recent medical procedures. 

"I've talked to police out in front of my house for 30 years but there was never anybody who has behaved like this," Virginia, the woman injured, said at the time.

"This shouldn't happen, there should never be any reason for an 84-year-old grandmother, who just had her fourth stroke in December, to be put on the ground like that," Ashlee Hahn, Virginia's granddaughter, said. 

Police are conducting an internal investigation into what happened. Officials say the suspect was taken for evaluation and a BB gun was found inside the home.

"It's critically important that our department symbolizes trust and faith, and that our residents know officers will do our very best, no matter the circumstances," Chief Batista said. "We all have a mother and a grandmother who we love very much; their safety and well-being are always a priority."