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Arkansas state soldier sued for allegedly tipping over pregnant woman’s car during traffic stop

An attorney for Janice Nicole Harper filed a lawsuit last month in Pulaski County, the county seat of Little Rock. Harpist, who was two months pregnant at the time of July 9, 2020, incident, alleges that Arkansas State Police Soldier Rodney Dunn negligently performed the PIT maneuver that resulted in a motor vehicle collision.

Alan C. Johnson, an Arkansas State Soldier and Dunn’s Supervisor, as well as Col. William Bryant, Arkansas State Police Director, are also named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also says Arkansas State Police failed to properly train Dunn to trigger a traffic stop on a road with an extremely tight shoulder and proper and safe PIT maneuvering technique.

CNN has contacted Arkansas State Police for a statement. CNN could not reach Dunn, and we don’t know if he has a lawyer.

According to the lawsuit, Harper was driving US Highway 67 when Dunn clocked her speeding ticket – she was traveling 84 mph in a 70 mph zone. The costume indicates that Dunn activated his emergency lights to initiate a shutdown on Harper. Seconds after the soldier turned on his overhead lights, Harper turned on his turn signals and lowered his speed to 60 mph and moved into the right lane.

According to the Arkansas Driver’s License Guide, when drivers are pulled over by police, they should activate their turn signal or emergency turn signals to indicate that they are looking for a safe place to pull over and pull over to the side. right of the road.

However, due to concrete barriers and a reduced shoulder on both sides of the road, Harper was unable to safely stop his vehicle on the right or left shoulder, according to the lawsuit.

Dashcam video from Dunn’s patrol car the night of the incident shows Harper traveling in the right lane with his hazard lights on and slowing down. In the video obtained by CNN, Dunn performed a PIT maneuver on Harper’s vehicle that allegedly caused him to lose control, tipping the car over on top.

“There was no exit or shoulder for the plaintiff to exit the freeway safely, before defendant Dunn negligently performed a PIT maneuver on the plaintiff’s vehicle two minutes and seven seconds after Defendant Dunn activated the headlights of his Arkansas State Police Patrol Cruiser, causing Plaintiff’s vehicle to tip over. ” the trial said.

Dunn was seen in the dashcam video approaching the wreckage. As he helps him, he is heard asking him, “Why didn’t you stop?”

Harper is overheard saying to Dunn “because I didn’t feel like it was safe.”

Harper was cited in the incident for speeding and refusing to yield to an emergency vehicle, Denton said.

The video also shows that Harper told the soldier she was pregnant as she tried to get out of the overturned SUV. A lawyer for Harper told CNN his client suffered undisclosed injuries in the crash and sought medical treatment. Harper’s unborn child was not injured, according to lawyer Joe Denton.

“Defendant Dunn’s conduct constituted a reckless attempt to engage in conduct which created a substantial risk of physical injury to the plaintiff,” the lawsuit read.

CNN’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.


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