Ybor City visitor claims excessive force used in arrest

Hillsborough County

They got the wrong person. A Gainesville woman claims she’s being targeted for crimes she didn’t commit.

It all started with a hurled glass and ended with a violent takedown.   

A cashier at Club Prana told Tampa police back on Feb. 24, she was hit in the head with a glass. She insists Lesley Hayes is to blame.

Video from that night picks up a half hour later. The Club Prana bouncer and a Tampa police officer find Lesley Hayes and Roneisha Lockwood eating pizza.

Police take Lockwood into custody first.

Chaos erupts as the officer and the bouncer take Hayes to the ground.   

She said she had no idea who was holding her.

”I feel someone grab me, put their arm around my neck, I guess it was a police officer. Thrown me on the ground. I just remember repeatedly being punched in my face, the chest, my stomach,” said Hayes.

A police report says Hayes tensed up, refused commands, spit on the officer, punched her and kicked her to allow Lockwood to briefly escape.

Hayes says that’s all untrue. She thinks the bouncer is out of line.

“He grabbed me. He’s not law enforcement. He had no reason to put his hands on me,” she said.

Her attorney, Kelly McCabe, agrees.

“The bouncer had no right what so ever to put his hands on her. He’s not a cop. No matter what happened at Prana, that was not the way to handle it,” she said.

A TPD spokesperson said an internal affairs investigation started soon after this incident.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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