Two Alabama women, 86 and 61, hit cops with civil rights lawsuit after they were ‘violently handcuffed and arrested’ for feeding and spaying feral stray cats

Two women in Alabama who were arrested for feeding and neutering feral stray cats have now launched a civil lawsuit against officers for violating their rights.

Beverly Roberts, 86, and Mary Alston, 61, were arrested by Wetumpka police in June 2022 and taken to jail while waiting to capture stray cats they planned to take in to be sterilized and eventually adopted .

The suit lists City Mayor Jerry Willis, Police Chief Greg Benton, Assistant Police Chief Ed Reeves and Police Officers Kameron Ricks, Jason Crumpton and Brenden Foster as both city employees and personal defendants.

According to the court documentsRicks, Crumpton and Foster ‘violently handcuffed’ both women, ‘aggressively forced them into a police car’ and ‘unjustly imprisoned’.

The lawsuit also alleges that Roberts and Alston were arrested under the pretense of trespassing on public property and taken to jail at the “specific direction of Willis, Benton and Reeves.”

Mary Alston (61) (right) and Beverly Roberts (86) (left) launched a civil lawsuit against officers for violating their rights

Mary Alston (61) (right) and Beverly Roberts (86) (left) launched a civil lawsuit against officers for violating their rights

Mary Alston

Beverly Roberts

Alston and Roberts were arrested by police in Wetumpka in June 2022 and taken to jail while waiting to capture stray cats, take them to be sterilized and eventually adopted

According to court documents, officers Ricks, Crumpton and Foster 'violently handcuffed' both women, 'aggressively forced them into a police car' and 'unjustly imprisoned'

According to court documents, officers Ricks, Crumpton and Foster ‘violently handcuffed’ both women, ‘aggressively forced them into a police car’ and ‘unjustly imprisoned’

‘The charges were false and the accused knew it. The charges were willfully brought to harass and embarrass Roberts and Alston and to prevent them from exercising their right to engage in (trap-immortal return) and to peacefully assemble on public property,” lazy documents.

The two are seeking compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, punitive damages along with court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

In 2022, Alston was sitting in her car after setting traps to capture a female cat on public property in Elmore County when she saw Willis drive past her.

Within minutes, three policemen arrived where Alston was parked and approached her.

According to the complaint, Willis later admitted that after observing Alston, he ordered police to approach her.

Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that ‘Willis was angry that Roberts and Alston frequently complained, both publicly and to officials at Wetumpka City Hall, that. Willis failed to enforce laws and ordinances prohibiting the “chaining” of dogs.’

In 2022, Alston was sitting in her car after setting traps to capture a female cat on public property in Elmore County when she saw Willis drive past her.  Within minutes, three policemen arrived where Alston was parked and approached her

In 2022, Alston was sitting in her car after setting traps to capture a female cat on public property in Elmore County when she saw Willis drive past her. Within minutes, three policemen arrived where Alston was parked and approached her

According to the lawsuit, officers informed Roberts at this point that she would be arrested.  When the officers handcuffed Roberts, Alston got out of her car and tried to talk to the officers

According to the lawsuit, officers informed Roberts at this point that she would be arrested. When the officers handcuffed Roberts, Alston got out of her car and tried to talk to the officers

Foster allegedly grabbed Alston, forcibly pulled her from her vehicle and then handcuffed her

Foster allegedly grabbed Alston, forcibly pulled her from her vehicle and then handcuffed her

The lawsuit further states that the officers were aware that Roberts was a disabled veteran

The lawsuit further states that the officers were aware that Roberts was a disabled veteran

Bodycam footage shows one of the cops approaching Alston, questioning what she’s doing and asking for her driver’s license.

Alston is heard asking the officer: ‘You’ll have three police cars because I’m feeding cats? Wow, that’s amazing.’

The trio are heard telling Alston that she has ‘formally trespassed’ and could go to jail.

Footage then shows the officers getting into their own cars and driving off before returning to the scene.

When they return, Alston is still parked in the same spot and is now joined by Roberts.

According to the lawsuit, they informed Roberts at this point that she was going to be arrested. When the officers handcuffed Roberts, Alston got out of her car and tried to talk to the officers.

‘The officers ordered Alston to stop talking and get into her vehicle. Alston complied with the officers’ demand to get back into her vehicle but continued to speak with the officers,’ the lawsuit states.

The duo is seeking compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, punitive damages and court costs and reasonable attorney's fees

The duo is seeking compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, punitive damages and court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees

The civil lawsuit alleges unlawful seizure and detention, excessive force, malicious prosecution, negligence, wantonness and other charges against the city officials and a jury trial has been demanded

The civil lawsuit alleges unlawful seizure and detention, excessive force, malicious prosecution, negligence, wantonness and other charges against the city officials and a jury trial has been demanded

In response, Foster allegedly grabbed Alston, forcibly pulled her from her vehicle and then handcuffed her.

The two were then taken to a local jail, where they were allegedly further abused.

While in jail, Roberts lost consciousness and hit her head.

The complaint alleges that “a police officer observed this but did nothing.” Roberts was not given any medical help. Roberts requested to make a phone call, but was denied. She was told that a phone call was a “privilege, not a right”. This is against Alabama law.’

The lawsuit further states that the officers were aware that Roberts was a disabled veteran and that Alston had a heart condition that was being treated with prescription heart medication.

Alston’s husband posted bail for both women.

In December 2022, Wetumpka Municipal Judge Jeff Courtney found Roberts guilty of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

Alston was convicted of criminal trespass and interference with government operations.

In December 2022, Wetumpka Municipal Judge Jeff Courtney found Roberts guilty of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct

In December 2022, Wetumpka Municipal Judge Jeff Courtney found Roberts guilty of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct

Alston was convicted of criminal trespass and interference with government operations

Alston was convicted of criminal trespass and interference with government operations

But they later appealed to the Elmore County Circuit Court and requested a jury trial.  At that point, the city dropped the charges against them

But they later appealed to the Elmore County Circuit Court and requested a jury trial. At that point, the city dropped the charges against them

Courtney sentenced both women to two years of unsupervised probation and 10 days in jail.

The prison sentences were suspended, meaning the women will not serve any time. Each woman was also fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs.

But they later appealed to the Elmore County Circuit Court and requested a jury trial. At that point, the city dropped the charges against them.

The civil lawsuit alleges unlawful seizure and detention, excessive force, malicious prosecution, negligence, wantonness and other charges against the city officials and a jury trial has been demanded.

A court date has not yet been announced. According to the Montgomery advisorJudge Emily Marks was assigned to the trial.