911 Call for Ambulance Help Only Brought Grief and Arrest for Injured Victim
On Thursday afternoon (June 18, 2009) in Eureka, near the Blue Heron motel, a woman of color (possibly Asian or Native American) was observed being held against her will by a large man, while a smaller man was repeatedly antagonizing her and spraying her in the face with something (pepper spray, mace?)
The woman was struggling to get away.
After the observer turned her car around to offer assistance to the woman under attack, the situation had changed -the two men and the woman were no longer visible. The observer called the Redwood Curtain CopWatch phone line and while explaining what she had witnessed, she saw the woman who had been hurt by the two men- so she went to speak with her.
When the observer (we'll call her "T") asked the injured woman what she needed, the woman appeared very distressed, in a lot of pain, and held her eyes crying out that they were burning. T called the CopWatch number again, but unfortunately, the phone had fallen off the hook, and her messages (she called several times) went to voicemail. T called 911, hoping for an ambulance to help the woman.
No ambulance appeared- only police.
The Eureka Police and a man who was identified by EPD as a Federal Agent showed up. We believe, from the sole provided badge number, that EPD Sgt. Steve Watson was one of the three officers/agents who came.
The officers arrested the woman who had been sprayed.
The officers rinsed the woman's eyes with water. They did not head back to the Blue Heron, appearing neither to seek out nor have any interest in seeking out the two men who had assaulted the woman, although T described them.
The officers, instead began asking questions of T in attempts to vilify, blame, and criminalize the woman who was hurt- and who'd been immediately arrested.
T told the officers what she had seen: the big man holding the woman captive while a smaller man antagonized and sprayed the woman in the face, the woman crying and struggling to get away. The officers, who already had arrested the woman and eventually called for an ambulance, asked T if she had seen the woman carrying a knife! T replied no, she had only seen what she told them. (Some of this interrogation/conversation was heard on the Redwood Curtain CopWatch phone)
The woman was left in the police car while the officers talked with the ambulance people for 5-10 minutes.
T does not believe that the woman was taken to the hospital at all.