TAMPA (FOX 13) - A lawsuit filed against Tampa police by a female University of Tampa student claims she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a plain clothes officer used excessive force while unlawfully arresting her.
Caroline Tedeschi's lawsuit details a day in 2015 when Officer Nicholas Sclavakis, who was driving an unmarked vehicle and wearing a polo shirt and khakis, followed her and a friend walking along the road, then attacked her without identifying himself.
Tedeschi's suit says it all began when she and a friend left an apartment on N. Rome Avenue to walk to another residence on W. Nassau Street. On that walk, the suit says an unmarked Ford driving through the apartment complex parking lot turned around and followed them onto N. Rome Ave.
The lawsuit says the women were afraid and hid behind some bushes to wait for the car to leave. Instead, Tedeschi said the car stopped on the opposite side of the road.
The driver, Officer Sclaviakis got out of the car, shone his flashlight toward the two women and said "come closer," according to the lawsuit.
When Tedeschi says she saw the man approaching, she told her friend to run. Both girls ran and Tedeschi screamed for help and to call 911.
Sclavakis caught up with Tedeschi, according to the suit, and handcuffed her left wrist. Tedeschi was said to have resisted. The suit explained she resisted because she did not know the man was an officer.
The suit says Sclavakis wrapped his arms around Tedeschi's neck and pulled her hair during the struggle.
Tedeschi said she told the man she would cooperate if he would identify himself, which she said he did verbally, but did not show his badge. She said he then threw her to the ground and pressed her head down with his arm.
There were several calls to 911 in the area as the altercation happened. Two officers arrived on the scene. That's when Tedeschi said she stopped struggling. She was arrested and charged with resisting arrest without violence, but the charges were later dropped.
Tedeschi's suit asks for compensation related to mental and physical suffering, and emotional distress. She was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of the incident, according to the lawsuit.
Tedeschi also suffered a fractured left wrist, bruises on the back of her head and now has scars across her body due to scrapes the suit said she suffered during the altercation.