Tampa woman sues Tampa Police Department over brain injury

The Tampa Police Department was sued by a Tampa woman who alleges that a police officer slammed her head into the pavement in a 2014 incident, causing a serious brain injury.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, Rachel Stockwell, then a student at the University of Tampa, had to leave school due to facial paralysis and cognitive defects. The complaint states that in video of the incident, a pool of blood can be seen surrounding Stockwell’s head.

The officer, Antwan S. Nelson, had his employment terminated, according to Laura McElroy, a police spokeswoman.

The incident took place on Valentine’s Day, 2014, outside Club 912 on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa. According to a police internal affairs report, Nelson used a “takedown” maneuver on Stockwell. Nelson told investigators that he had attempted to issue a trespass warning to Stockwell, but she refused to identify herself and resisted arrest. Nelson said he took the woman to the ground in order to gain better control. The investigation stopped short of calling the amount of force used excessive.

According to the internal affairs investigation, Stockwell, then 18, had been admitted to the club but was not legally permitted to drink. The report said she had previously been escorted from the premises, but had returned.

She was booked on charges of opposing an officer and criminal mischief, but the State Attorney’s Office did not prosecute.

Former pill mill owner arrested

A former physician of a now-defunct Florida pain clinic and the former owner of the clinic are facing charges related to the trafficking of Oxycodone.

Christian Spaw was arrested on charges of conspiracy, trafficking, racketeering and manslaughter in connection to drug purchases and sales allegedly made while operating All Family Medical, a Broward County pain clinic that was allegedly a pill mill. Some of the charges related to trafficking in Oxycodone stem from 2012.

Spaw turned himself in on April 30, with his attorney by his side, after the DEA issued an arrest warrant. The most recent charge is manslaughter. Spaw’s attorney said there was an insufficient factual basis to support such a charge.

The manslaughter charge stems from the death of a patron who allegedly purchased drugs from the pain clinic and later died from cardiac arrest. The Broward County medical examiner said that the death was the result of acute combined drug toxicity, and the man’s family said that he was taking Oxycodone and Xanax.

In addition to criminal charges, operators of pill mills can face civil lawsuits for pharmaceutical negligence filed by people injured by improperly prescribed or distributed drugs.