A local village is in an uproar after a long-time community member was handcuffed, arrested and jailed for not sitting in the right area.
Minerva Park is a quiet village with a small police force tucked into the northeast part of Columbus.
NBC4’s Rick Reitzel talked with several people who were at the meeting and has the latest.
69-years-old Peggy Bravard was arrested at Monday night’s village council meeting for not moving her chair into what officials said is a public seating area.
Ed Detwiler and Jean McCall were sitting nearby and McCall took cell phone video of the arrest. Bravard can be seen being pulled out of her chair by one arm.
“This is ridiculous all I was doing was sitting in a chair,” Bravard can be heard saying on the recording. “What’s going on? I was sitting in that chair. You are hurting me,” she told Police Chief Kim Nuesse as Bravard was forced into the corner near the front door.
Chief Nuesse would not talk on camera about the arrest, but did provide NBC4 with the police report charging Bravard with Disorderly conduct, Insulting and Taunting.
“I was sitting there this afternoon and ask Lynn and she said not a word to me… you are being disorderly! Not a word to me! You are under arrest! No I’m not! Yes you are!” Bravard and Chief Nuesse can be heard saying on the recording.
McCall had this reaction to what she saw. Just appalled and the mayor could have stopped it, I think,” she said.
Bravard said the council was recording the meeting to share on its Facebook page and she said she sat in the spot near the stairwell just like other have done for a long time.
“There was no warning, no cool off time. It just seems like there could have been other steps there,” McCall said.
“I didn’t think she was insulting, she said take your hands off me,” Detwiler said. He said she might have been disorderly because she was not obeying a police officer’s orders.
“Tony don’t interfere,” Chief Nuesse can be heard on the recording.
Council member Tony Benedetti is one of three members who were just getting ready to start the meeting and said he tried to resolve the issue.
“It absolutely was an overreaction. The question I’m trying to get an answer to why she was sitting where she was sitting at,” Benedetti said. “She is the sweetest woman you would ever meet, everybody knows who she is,” he said. McCall said she is a retired school teacher who never cussed or raised her voice. Bravard said she has never had a run-in with the law, including a speeding violation or arrest.
The police report states the area needed to be kept open for access in case of emergency.
Bravard spent Monday night in jail and was bailed out by a friend. She is still waiting for a court date on an M-4 misdemeanor charge.