A mother of three has been wrestled to the ground and arrested by an off-duty police officer, simply for swearing during casual conversation on the school playground. She and a friend who tried to tackle the man were both taken to the local police station and issued with cautions for public disorder and common assault. She has filed a complaint against the officer in question.
Roxanne Bevan, 24, was with her two year old twin sons when the incident happened. She had just dropped her eldest child off at Gray’s Farm Primary School in Kent, and was chatting with friends on the school playground, when the police officer passed by to drop his own children off. Overhearing her using profanity during the conversation, he asked her to mind her language, the Daily Mail has reported.
Passing back again a few minutes later, he threatened to arrest her if she didn’t stop swearing. Unaware that he was an off-duty officer, she told him to f*** off, whereupon she claims he grabbed her arm and tried to wrestle her to the ground.
“I admittedly told him to f*** off at first because I didn’t know him from Adam,” she said. “He has bruised my arm. It’s disgusting what he has done to me. It’s so sore, it really hurts. I ran into the school and burst out crying.
“I know I shouldn’t have been using that language outside the school but the way he reacted was out of order. The word was used in conversation. It was not directed at him.”
She has now made a formal complaint about the officer to Essex Police, who employs the officer. “He was so aggressive. He was off-duty. To me, that is a parent attacking another parent,” she said.
By 9am, the Metropolitan Police had arrived at the school. They arrested Ms Bevan for a public order offence, and a 45 year old woman who had tried to pull the officer off Ms Bevan, knocking his glasses off in the process, for common assault. Both women admitted the charges at a south London police station and were released with cautions.
Dawn Cleary, 37, had been chatting to Ms Bevan on the playground when the event occurred. She said “Everyone swears. All he had to do was say: “Tone your language down a little bit.” It just went from one extreme to another. ‘It was really horrible to stand there and watch. He blew it completely out of proportion.”
Catherine Oates, a 30 year old mother of two who witnessed the event whilst dropping her children off at school that morning said “He looked like he was trying to get her on the floor. Roxanne’s twin boys started screaming their heads off. We had no way of knowing he was really a police officer. I was disgusted. To those little boys, it looked like he was attacking their mum.”
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint about an officer and as this matter is being investigated we cannot comment further at this stage.”