Brooke Fantelli says the Bureau of Land Management Officer was polite until he saw her license, which listed her as a man. He called me ‘it,’ she says.
A transgender woman in southern California claimed in a lawsuit that a federal agent fired a stun gun into her crotch during an arrest after he discovered she used to be a man.
Brooke Fantelli, of Romona, near San Diego, claims that a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger identified as J. Peter was polite during the incident last year until he got a look at her license.
The license had not been updated since she underwent a gender change and listed her as a man.
“He was super nice, until he saw the ID,” Fantelli, 43, told the newspaper U-T San Diego.
“He went from calling me ’ Miss’ and ‘Ma’am’ when it first started, to ‘Sir,’ ‘Dude’ and eventually calling me ‘it.’ ”
Fantelli and some friends were shooting photos and drinking alcohol in the Imperial County desert on Oct. 22 2011, when Peter approached the group and asked them for IDs, the lawsuit said.
Peter searched Fantelli’s truck and then sat in his car and watched the group, the lawsuit said, according to U-T San Diego.
Fantelli eventually asked Peter to leave because he was making the group uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.
Instead, he arrested her for being drunk in public.
Fantelli said she drank two beers but was not drunk.
A friend of Fantelli’s recorded the arrest using a cell phone camera.
The video, which appeared on YouTube, begins with Fantelli standing in front of Peter and another officer, identified as an Imperial County Sheriff’s deputy, with her hands in the air.
She turns to her friends and shouts, “Take pictures.”
Seconds later, the agent drops her with a stun gun.
The officers roll Fantelli onto her stomach, and tell her to let go of her wrist so they can cuff her.
The ranger shocks her again, and she can be heard wailing in pain.
Fantelli claims the second shock was to her groin. It’s not clear from the video where the officer shocked her.
According to the lawsuit, she was booked for public drunkenness and making threats and spent a night in a holding cell.
She bailed out the next morning and was never charged by the district attorney.
The Bureau of Land Management released a statement saying the agent acted appropriately.
“When deploying Tasers, rangers target the subject’s lower center mass, legs or back if possible,” the statement said, according to local ABC News.
“It appears the ranger targeted appropriately in this case.”
The bureau, Peter and the sheriff’s deputy were named in Fantelli’s suit.