Home / Badge Abuse / Nurse Calls 911 for Help, Police Show Up, Beat & Arrest Her In Front of Her Child

Nurse Calls 911 for Help, Police Show Up, Beat & Arrest Her In Front of Her Child

Buffalo, NY — When Christine Townsend, a registered nurse in Buffalo, found her neighbor’s pit bulls jumping at her windows and doors, frightening her dog and her 9-year-old daughter, she called 9-1-1 for help. However, when police finally showed up, more than an hour later, after multiple calls, they did anything but help her.

Because of the harassment, threats, and eventual brutality and deprivation of rights Townsend experienced at the hands of police that night, she has since filed a lawsuit against the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Police Department, Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda and two Police Officers, Mark Vara and Kelly Craig, for violating her civil rights under 42 U.S.C § 1983, known as ‘Section 1983’.

The 9-1-1 calls that Townsend made that night, she now regrets as she was the one who ended up in jail. On May 9, 2014, Townsend called police for help because two pit bulls, known to cause trouble in her neighborhood, were tearing into her front door and windows.

However, after the first call to 9-1-1, police never showed.

A little frustrated that police never showed up, and worried that one of the pit bulls was about to break through her window, Townsend called 9-1-1 again. This time, as the pit bulls continued to prowl her front porch, Townsend saw a police officer drive by — but fail to stop.

Townsend, now upset that police would drive by and do nothing, called dispatch once again told them that she may need to report the officer who did not stop to a supervisor. It was after she threatened to file a complaint that police finally showed up but refused to get out of their cruiser, according to the lawsuit.

Townsend said Officers Mark Vara and Kelly Craig were yelling at her at the same time and she was yelling back.

Vara asked her, “If we shot the dogs would that make you happy?”

According to the lawsuit, yelling and swearing was rife all around with officer Craig repeating herself, “Where do the dogs live?  Where do the dogs live?”

“Three doors down,” Townsend said.

Craig then said, “Come out and show me.”

As Townsend walked out to the sidewalk and pointed to the house, Vara berated her according to the lawsuit. “Go back in the house and shut the door and mind your own ‘fucking business,’” he shouted.

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At this point, neighbors had come out after thinking a domestic incident was unfolded. However, when they walked out of their homes, they saw Buffalo police officer Vara stalking Townsend back into her home.

When Townsend asked for Vara’s name, Vara lunged and opened the door, grabbed Townsend’s left arm, pulling her out onto her porch. He turned her around, pushed her against the house, pulled her arms behind her back and handcuffed her, according to the lawsuit, as reported by Art Voice.

Townsend’s neighbor Wilfredo Pena watched as the situation went from bad to worse.

Pena said, “[Townsend’s] daughter starts yelling and crying and he actually pulled her and yanked her out of the house… The door to the house was open.  The screen door was like she’s like holding it from inside her house.  That’s when he grabbed her… she’s saying ‘my daughter, my daughter,’ because he’s pulling. As soon as I get to the porch he’s grabbing her and pulling her.  She was going back, he’s going forward. And he eventually stronger, he pulled her out of the house.”

According to the lawsuit, Vara then yanked Townsend down the stairs of her porch, causing her to fall head first onto the ground.

The entire time, Townsend is deathly afraid of being separated from her daughter. “My daughter! my daughter!” Townsend cried.

According to the suit, Vara denies being rough and instead says Townsend was being uncooperative.

Pena, who was watching said, “He’s pulling her, he’s dragging her… She’s like resisting to come down, he’s pulling her, she falls. She’s just trying to stay with her daughter.  She was saying ‘my daughter’, because she didn’t have no one.  He’s pulling her, she’s trying to go back, ‘my daughter, my daughter.’  She’s – ‘I got no one there.’  She comes and goes down the steps.”

This time, Townsend was thrown to the ground with such force that she was injured.

“It was the left side of my body.  My leg… the left knee because that’s where I felt pain on the left side of my body,” Townsend recalled to Art Voice. “My ankle had a lot of pain at that point.  It felt like it had twisted, like it had rotated some unnatural motion into that leg, but the fall to the ground was so fast.  I don’t really know certainly what position I landed but I do recall I landed forward.”

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Vara claims that Townsend fell and that he did not push her.

Townsend’s attorney, Matt Albert, asked Vara in a deposition “It’s your testimony that my client threw herself onto the ground?”

To which Vara replied, “That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

However, yet another witness, Patricia Barclay, who also watched the events unfold described the same thing as Pena.

“I saw as I was going across the street the police officers pulling her down the stairs… It was all very quick.  She — basically, he pulled her down the porch,” Barclay said. “By the time I got there she was on the ground and I asked what was going on.  They said they were there because for the dogs. Chris [Townsend] was worried about her daughter.

“When she was telling me that Cassandra was in the house, said — she was like ‘my daughter’s in the house,’ [Ofc. Vara] said ‘you should have thought about that, shut the fuck up.”

Vara and Craig then dragged Townsend and put her in the car.

Barclay recalls, “They put her in the car and closed the door so I couldn’t talk to her. I spoke to the male officer [Vara].  I asked him what was going on, and he said it was about that they had gotten a phone call about the dogs.  And I believe I said, ‘Well, then why is Chris in trouble?’  And he said she had sworn at them.  He wanted identification for Chris, and Cassandra got the wallet for him and I asked him if this was really all necessary.  I said she’s a good person, she’s an RN.  He said ‘Well, then she must be on drugs then the way she acted.’  I said ‘Well, that’s not true.’

“And then he got her identification. He was about to leave and I said ‘Could I follow you down there and bail her out.’  And he said no, she would have to spend the night.”

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Instead of taking Townsend to jail, however, the officers drove her to the parking lot of Tim Hortons and began yelling at her demanding to know why she would try to get them in trouble, according to the lawsuit.

“Without us, your daughter, mother, and you would be victims of gang rape,” the officers said.

At this point, Townsend began to fear for her safety and quieted down. She was brought to jail where Vara and Craig would stack up a long list of bogus charges against her including disorderly conduct, as well as resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration.

However, all of the charges would quickly be dropped in the days following the arrest.

Townsend, who has never been involved with police before in her life is now taking legal action to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

The lawsuit alleges unlawful seizure, unlawful arrest, unlawful imprisonment, trespass, excessive force, battery, slander, malicious prosecution, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising from events that began at Townsend’s residence on May 9th, 2014 which she alleges violated her constitutional rights as established in the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

“This failure of the Department to adequately train its officers resulted in the Defendants’ actions that caused the Plaintiff harm, and will result in more unnecessary brutality unless corrective measures are taken by the City of Buffalo Police Department,” said Albert.

“Such arrest and prosecution was done without probable cause, where circumstances ended in favor of the complainant, and the circumstances in their totality, as set forth in this complaint, clearly are indicative of malice and bad faith undertaken by Defendants Vara and Craig, as would be found by any reasonable person viewing these facts objectively.”

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. and now on Steemit
  • JimZimmerman

    The Story should show these 2 POS “Officers” pictures so that the people of Buffalo will know them as the Nazi’s that they are. WOW what a couple of Hero’s.

  • Blaine

    Waiting for the usual boot lickers to chime in and say she should have just cooperated….

    This is the response to most 911 calls I’m familiar with – a 2 hour wait, when they show up they don’t want to do anything that might require paperwork, and then get crappy when you insist.

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      When/if they do show, I’ll be right here to tell ’em who/what they can go fuck. (SPOILER ALERT: It’ll mostly be themselves.)

    • PatrickHenry

      Warren V Dc?

    • Kanati

      When the cops get stupid, yes… cooperate. File complaints/lawsuits after the fact. No sense in letting them jackboot you into the ground and injure or kill you. They were obviously looking for a fight when they finally showed up so they were 100% in the wrong. But they obviously get their jollies by laying the beat down on someone, so don’t give them a reason to do so.

      • Blaine

        “You were fine a minute ago, now you can’t get the fuck up. I’ll get you up”

        “scumbags in this ‘fucking’ neighborhood”


        You should read the entire story, she was cooperating right up until they came on her property and arrested/apprehended/kidnapped her with her 9 yr old daughter in the house. I guess at some point in any unlawful assault folks are going to flop around and scream for their children’s safety. Mind you they had absolutely no reason to detain let alone put her in cuffs or remove her from the scene.

        Keep in mind this is the same Buffalo PD that killed Iraq vet Adam Arroyo’s dog, stole some his personal possessions and left his apartment a bloody mess with the door hanging off the hinges – the wrong address on a no-knock drug warrant. He’s still waiting for some sort of justice or explanation.

        I’ll be astonished if anything comes of this suit – the officers were probably following guidelines to a T.

      • TechGump

        When you’re compliant, which generally means waiving your rights, there’s not a good case for a lawsuit. And that ensures others will become victims in the future.

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    “Without us, your daughter, mother, and you would be victims of gang rape,” the officers said.

    It’s frighteningly telling that this is the first thing they imagine would happen to women if men were allowed to do whatever they wanted to them.

    • Blaine

      She should have replied “that’s because Erie county makes it too difficult to get a CCP, or I wouldn’t need you assholes in the first place, and I wouldn’t be here in a parking lot being threatened by so called law enforcement.”

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        Believe it or not, if society fell to anarchy, most men would NOT fall to gang-raping the nearest female. In fact, I like to think most men would actively try to protect women from such a fate. That instinctive urge to protect the vulnerable from the predatory (which is just as strong in men as it is in women) is how the very idea of “law and order” got off the ground.

        • Phil Freeman

          One would think so, but there are elements in society that actively protect these uniformed types, shielding them from exposure to the public eye. These elements go so far as to request banning users from posting identifying information from certain platforms. Damn shame too.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            Whining doesn’t become you, Mr. Freeman. Surely there are other websites that’ll allow you to publicly dox the authorities.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            It isn’t just “these uniformed types” that are afforded such protection here – you’re not allowed to post anyone’s home address in these comments. Is that going to be a problem for you?

          • Phil Freeman

            Donald J Trump 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, Washington DC. Nope no problem.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            Not a residential listing. As you can see, nobody is prohibiting you from posting someone’s business address.

          • Phil Freeman

            James baby rapist Alefantis
            5031 Connecticut Ave NW
            Washington, DC 20008

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            You need professional help.

          • Phil Freeman

            That I cannot argue with. It is certainly possible that your diagnosis has some credence to it.

          • Hugh Culliton

            So what exactly, are you expecting to result from this “exposure to the public eye?”

          • Phil Freeman

            How about community pressure, a public shaming for a start, we used to tar any feather these criminals and ride them out on a rail.

          • Hugh Culliton

            OK, now what, in this year of 2017, do you actually think would happen if such personal info were “exposed?” Would you be worried if similar info about a loved one were made public?

          • Phil Freeman

            My loved ones don’t abuse people.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            Yeah, when someone says they have no monsters in their family, it’s often because THEY’RE the monster.

          • Phil Freeman

            Oh I’m a monster, no doubt about that. A hunter, a killer joyfully so. I still don’t abuse people.

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            You do know that’s exactly what a people-abuser would say?

          • Phil Freeman

            You should travel more. Exposure to different cultures will cure that blindness. From a masochist’s perspective the abuser is a saint, trustworthy and revered. Perspective. The abused inevitably returns to the abuser, or seeks one of like kind. Seen it thousands of times. No amount of convincing changes that . I don’t abuse anyone, but I don’t tolerate people doing it to the defenseless either. I readily do what others think about doing but haven’t the courage of their conviction.

          • Hugh Culliton

            Your avoiding the question.

  • vegas jack

    And when some nutcase with a gun hears about this and takes it out on a good cop, who is to blame then? Cowards with badges endanger their own brothers in blue…smh

    • Dezri Dean

      How do you create terrorists?
      Just do like they did!

  • PatrickHenry

    Its about time someone filled a 1983.

  • REALConservative

    Calling the cops is pointless.

    If those dogs are truly a threat, a couple handfuls of meat laced with your favorite product for creating a docile animal are all that’s necessary, and as an RN she should have access to some premium shit.

    Yes…I’ve BTDT.

  • David Hall

    All cops are thugs in the largest gang in America. Never and I repeat NEVER call the cops, it always ends badly. Revenue collectors is all the thugs are, escalate every situation so as to obtain revenue or throw someone in a cage so that they get even more revenue for the Government coffers. What a couple of losers. She messed up their Tim Horton’s doughnut break they was on when she called. Then took her back to their favorite place to fuck off.

  • jonn

    “The failure of the department to adequately train it’s officers……..”.

    Wait a minute, police departments have to train their uniformed chimps NOT to be flaming assholes?

    • James Michael

      Flaming assholes? You mean kidnapping treasonous felons…They both deserved to be shot in the foreheads….

  • billdeserthills

    Her mistake was in calling the police, she should have called animal control
    I hope she is able to comfortably retire after winning her lawsuit against the popo

    • The Cat’s Vagina

      In a lot of places, “animal control” either doesn’t exist or will tell you to call the police if you’re presently being threatened by an animal.

  • Phil Freeman

    She’s an RN, but not very bright. Issue a threat to have a cop disciplined who is coming to answer your dogs roaming at large call. Which you called 911 multiple times for. Imagine if her pizza was delivered in 31 minutes, heads would roll at Domino’s I tell you! Ammonia in a super soaker may have been a more prudent choice and take the matter up with the owners after. These dogs were regular shitters in her yard is more likely and rather than neighbor speaking with neighbor to resolve the issue, she knowingly elected to call a paramilitary reactionary revenue generating armed force to address a non emergency civil matter. Brilliant. Nah, I wouldn’t let her put a band-aid on me, RN or not.

    • Ronnie Page

      Spoken like a true “boot licker”!

    • Hugh Culliton

      None of that matters a whit. The police are supposed to be mature, emotionally intelligent public servants who, without loosing their shit, are supposed to be able to deal with someone speaking to them crossly.

      If these lads can’t competently deal with this situation, what train-wreck will they cause when they have to respond to a serious incident?

      • Phil Freeman

        Given the track record of American policing, it is reasonable to deduce that a dog roaming at large call, coupled with threats of disciplinary action by the complainant would manifest behavior that is inconsistent with the desired result. Keep calling police, you’ll get a good throttling and a night in the gaol.

      • Phil Freeman

        Supposed to be? By who’s standard?

        • The Cat’s Vagina

          That word is actually spelled whose. I know, it’s hard!

          • Phil Freeman


          • The Cat’s Vagina

            Rely on your mind – I know you’ve got one! You don’t need no steenkin’ auto-correct.

        • Hugh Culliton

          By the standards of the people who pay for them.

          • Phil Freeman

            Lol, you should visit the job description page.

          • Hugh Culliton

            Then we’ve identified part of the problem.

  • Gordon Klock

    They were mad at her, for calling them so many times, so they arrested her at the first opportunity, (punishing her for inadvertently demonstrating their own incompetence, by requesting assitence repeatedly after they first failed to respond)…
    The thinly-veiled threat, they made on the way to jail, was tellingly creepy….

    • Hugh Culliton

      The threat was more than creepy – it was illegal!

  • Ibcamn

    cops are bottomfeeding criminals……..

  • Undecider

    I would’ve allowed the dogs in where they’d have become dinner.

  • Kountry Bumpkin

    I miss police officers, I’m old enough to remember them not to mention we had family members and family friends that were officers. If you called them regardless if you knew them or not, they showed up all calm, cool and collected, listened to the situation and then handled it in that same calm, cool, collected manner. Officers that really did want to help people and make the country a better place. What we have now is so far removed from a police officer it puts those in third worlds to shame.