A Moorhead police officer has been charged with felony aggravated assault for allegedly elbowed a handcuffed woman in the face, breaking her nose and bruising her right eye.
According to court documents filed in Cass County District Court, the incident happened Sunday, Sept. 9 when police officer Matthew Lambert brought 47-year-old Jennifer Thomas, of Fargo, to the Sanford Medical Center.
Officers from Fargo Police Department were called to the hospital for assistance, and upon arrival they met Lambert, who told them Thomas had gotten up from her hospital bed, and when he tried to get her to sit back down she spit in his face.
Lambert told the Fargo officers that Thomas hit her face on part of the bed when he attempted to tackle her.
An investigation into the incident revealed that in fact Lambert had elbowed Thomas in the face, resulting in injuries of a fractured nasal bone and a bruised eye.
"There is currently a complaint against Officer Lambert. The city is considering the appropriate course of action. Officer Lambert is currently on paid leave from employment with the city," the City of Moorhead said in a press release Friday.
Lambert has been with Moorhead Police Department since April 2012.
Arrested woman involved in Buffalo Wild Wings evacuation
Thomas had been arrested earlier that night after an incident at Buffalo Wild Wings in Fargo.
She was accused of making suicidal comments while armed with a handgun. The restaurant was evacuated but fortunately, police were able to arrest her without anyone getting hurt.
Officers determined that the handgun she was in possession of was a loaded BB gun.
Court documents also state that Thomas spit in an officer's face while she was being placed in the back of a squad car.
She is facing charges of 4th-degree assault on a peace officer, threats of violence and carrying a BB gun in a public place.