Tucson, AZ — When Michelle Aloisi, a 62-year-old registered, nurse went to lunch with her two daughters to celebrate her birthday earlier this month, they never expected their brief reunion to turn into a nightmare. However, thanks to a seemingly power tripping off duty cop, Robert Szelewski, as Aloisi and her two daughters walked from the restaurant back to their car that day, that is exactly what happened. According to the mother and her two daughters, Szelewski became upset at the pace at which they walked back to their car and he proceeded to attack them for it.
On November 14, Aloisi’s daughters, Nicole Whitted, 40, and Brittany Aloisi-Wiles, 39, travelled from Yuma to visit their mother for her birthday. Lunch was a success and as they walked from the restaurant back to the car, Aloisi was slow to get moving thanks to a condition she has that makes it hard to walk after sitting for long periods.
As the girls slowly walked their mother back to the car, Szelewski, who was just arriving at the restaurant, allegedly became enraged that these women would impede his swift entry into a parking space.
“He zoomed into that back parking spot, jumped out of his car, threw his hands up in the air and screamed ‘Just f—ing walk’ at us,” Nicole Whitted said.
In an interview with Tuscon.com, the family described what happened next.
“He starts to advance toward me. My sister (Brittany) saw it. She kind of cut it off in between. He’s advancing toward the end of his car. He’s screaming at us and she’s going ‘What are you going to do?’ or something along those lines. Then he starts to go ‘What are you going to do, what are you going to do?’ then chest-bumps Brittany,” Whitted told Tuscon.com.
“Then he took her down. He grabs her by the back of the neck. Took her down violently to the ground.”
Through his police union-appointed attorney, Szelewski disputed this chain of events and while we don’t have video of the initial confrontation, we do have a grueling five-minute clip showing what happened after they met.
While she’s witnessing Szelewski attack her daughter, Aloisi jumped in to help her out, at which point the off-duty cop attacked her as well. This is when Whitted starts filming and calling 911.
“I knew my strength wouldn’t match his, but I thought maybe if I pull his shirt where it gets tight around his neck, maybe he would have to let go of her. But that didn’t work out that way. I’m telling him to leave her alone. Next thing I know he’s got me by the hair,” Aloisi said.
“At this point he’s holding my mom down with one arm,” Nicole Whitted said. “He has Brittany down with his forearm across her throat. He’s holding her down that way. My mom is screaming ‘Call 911, call the cops.’”
The man responded: “I am the f—ing cops!”
Because he allegedly attacked them, the girls did not believe he was a police officer and judging by his reaction in the video, he certainly didn’t act like one.
As Whitted screamed out, she attracted the attention of a bystander who came over and pleaded with Szelewski to get off of the two women. Szelewski refused and said he’s not getting up until police get there.
This “hero” cop was assaulting a 62-year-old woman, forcing her down on top of her own daughter, as he mounted them like animals, so this good Samaritan knew he had to stay around.
The good Samaritan persisted and after verifying that Szelewski was indeed a cop by checking his ID, he still insisted that this maniac get off of the two women. Szelewski then briefly let up the mother before kneeling on Aloisi-Wiles’ neck, choking her.
“When he got my mom off me, that’s when the cop completely shifted and had his knee on my neck,” Aloisi-Wiles recalled. “I was yelling I couldn’t breathe and all of that. That’s when he even got angrier.”
“It took a little more convincing for him to finally get off my neck,” she said.
When police finally arrived, Szelewski was treated as the victim and received no citations, nothing. Instead, Aloisi-Wiles was given a citation for disorderly conduct — for standing up to a man who was harassing them for walking too slow.
The incident is now under investigation.
“I appreciate that the video of this incident raises concerns, but it is important that we adhere to the legal requirement of due process and allow both the criminal and administrative investigations to be completed before determinations are made and further steps taken,” Chief Chris Magnus stated on Sunday. “The department holds its members to high standards both on and off duty, and we will review this matter in light of those standards,” he added.
Whether or not Szelewski will be held to high standards remains unclear but judging from the treatment he received on the scene, it his highly unlikely that he will face one ounce of accountability.
“I brought my children up to respect law enforcement, go to law enforcement because they are your ultimate protection,” Aloisi said. “Our experience has said that’s not really true.”