Expectant mom Dailene Rosario, 17, was the alleged victim of a horrific incident that happened suddenly and randomly outside her apartment in the Bronx recently. Video footage of the incident, which shows a team of police officers restraining and handcuffing a hysterical Rosario, just surfaced.
The most disturbing portions of the footage show officers using a Taser on the teen, who was 14 weeks along at the time. “I was screaming, ‘I’m pregnant!’ the whole time,” the young woman told Teen Vogue. “The female officers, when they first came up, my sister told them I was pregnant.” Photos published by the New York Daily News show two bandaged lacerations where the Taser was applied.
The incident was reportedly rooted in a misunderstanding. Police arrived at the apartment building to address a call about someone suffering an asthma attack, says the Daily News. When they arrived, they got wind of a fight in the hallway of the fourth floor involving two men: Rosario’s boyfriend and his brother, who were fighting over a video game, she told the publication.
In the melee, officers from the 47th precinct knocked on Rosario’s door after a report that she and another woman were also fighting inside the apartment. Rosario told the Daily News that this was false and she told police that, but it didn’t stop officers from manhandling the pregnant teen. They cuffed her and dragged her into the hallway, “and then somebody was pinching me, and I ended up getting tased … [my right hand] was already in the cuff, and then I ended up on the floor,” she said.
The officers’ take on the events leading up to the incident differs. According to the Daily News, police claim that Rosario shouted through the door, “I don’t want to talk to you!” and then pushed an officer when the door was finally opened.
While accounts vary, what happened once the teen was pulled out of her apartment is documented on video by someone who appears to have been standing inside the apartment. The video has gone viral, showing a screaming Rosario restrained and outnumbered by about 10 cops, who claimed the teen was resisting arrest. Though the video shows Rosario with her hands behind her back, seemingly presenting no danger to the squad of officers — or the 15 onlookers — they nevertheless felt the need to use a Taser.
“It’s like your whole side is on fire and you’re being stabbed at the same time,” Rosario told the New York Daily News. “The hook was embedded into my skin so they had to cut it to take both the Tasers [barbs] out.” Rosario, of course, was beside herself with worry about the health of her unborn baby.
According to the NYPD Patrol Guide, police officers are bound by law to be cautious when using Taser guns, also known as conducted electrical weapons (CEW). It reads, in part, “The CEW should generally not be used on … obviously pregnant females…” A witness to the scene, Danielle Lopez, 33, told the Daily News that Rosario was, indeed, obviously with child. “She’s four months pregnant. She has a belly. You can tell. I was disgusted,” Lopez told the publication.
The NYPD told Pix 11 in a statement, “We are aware of the incident. It is under internal review.”
Below is a video of the incident. Be advised that the images you’re about to see are graphic and may be disturbing.