A Newark woman who claims that a city officer grabbed her outside a restaurant and threw her against a car hard enough to break a window will receive $145,000 to settle a lawsuit against the city and the officer, according to court papers. NJ.com reports.
City council members voted Oct. 27 to settle the suit that Jazmine Fortenberry filed in U.S. District Court for an incident that occurred in Elizabeth five years ago, on a night when she was celebrating her birthday.
According to the court suit, on Oct. 8, 2010, Fortenberry went to the Dolce Restaurant and Lounge on Broad Street. Later in the evening she went to the rear exit of the restaurant to talk with a club bouncer about her missing keys, according to her complaint.
While at the rear exit, Fortenberry saw two women thrown out of the restaurant. While talking with the bouncer and speaking loudly over the noise of the establishment, Fortenberry was suddenly grabbed from behind by a city police officer, identified as Will Torres, and thrown against a car with enough force to break a door window, according to the lawsuit.
Fortenberry was put in the back of a police cruiser in handcuffs and taken to Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth for treatment of injuries suffered when the car window shattered, the suit states.
She was handcuffed to a hospital bed for five hours, charged with disorderly persons offenses, and received three sets of sutures in her face, the papers state.
Fortenberry also alleged that Torres made “homophobic” statements about her, and that he smashed her cellphone and threw the pieces into water.
She was taken from the hospital to police headquarters, where she was held until the following morning, the lawsuit claims.
City officials declined to comment on the lawsuit or the settlement.
However, officials confirmed that Torres is a member of the police department and on active duty.
Fortenberry’s lawyer did not return a call seeking a comment.