RTA investigating how officers arrested Lakewood woman - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

RTA investigating how officers arrested Lakewood woman

Jessica Ferrato holds an RTA pass. (Source: WOIO) Jessica Ferrato holds an RTA pass. (Source: WOIO)
The RTA is apologizing for how a northeast Ohio mother was treated at an RTA stop by one of its officers.

"Grabbed me and threw me down into the dirt," says Jessica Ferrato.

Ferrato says that's how her night ended Sunday at the West 117th RTA station in Cleveland. Hours before, she was having fun at the Cleveland Film Festival. She took the rapid home, and that's when she says trouble started with an RTA officer who asked to see her pass.

"I kind of gave him a cheeky reply. 'Bus pass? But, I rode the train.' As I was reaching for my RTA pass," says Ferrato.

Ferrato says he asked for her pass again, and she showed it to him as she was walking away to the parking lot.

"I said, 'It's right here,'" explains Ferrato.

According to Ferrato, the officer told her to come back, but she kept walking to her car. That's when he blocked her from going any further.

"He was saying, 'You have to do what I said.' And I said, 'I don't have to do what you say.' He started to threaten to tase me. He told me to turn around and give him my hands," she says.

The Lakewood mother says she tried to use her cell phone to record the escalating incident, but that's when she claims he grabbed her and shoved her to the ground, putting her face in the dirt. Other officers showed up to assist in cuffing her.

"It was terrifying for me," says Ferrato.

Police charged Ferrato with disorderly conduct. She filed a complaint.

She also posted her story on Facebook, and it got thousands of responses.

The RTA says it's investigating the incident, which includes reviewing surveillance video.

The organization released the following statement:

"From what we know now, it appears this incident could have been handled far more appropriately. We apologize for the way this incident transpired.

This is clearly an unfortunate situation. Importantly, we will be taking the appropriate action internally.

Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details."

Ferrato wants better training for the officer involved. She goes to court for her disorderly conduct charge later in April.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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