Louisiana Sheriff’s Office, TV Producers Sued

May 10, 2012

A Chauvin, La., woman, who claims a deputy used unnecessary violence as television cameras rolled, has filed suit against the Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office and the production company of an upcoming TV show.

The suit says Angela Rodrigue, 47, was abused when arrested and the crew exacerbated it by egging on the deputy.

Court papers say Rodrigue was arrested outside her home Feb. 1 on charges of disturbing the peace by cursing, resisting arrest by violence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Courier reports her trial is set for Friday in front of state District Judge David Arceneaux. If convicted, she faces more than a year in prison.

The suit, filed in federal court, requests an unnamed amount of money in damages. It says sheriff’s deputy Paul Thibodeaux broke Rodrigue’s leg and tore the cartilage in her knee when he pulled her out of a parked car in her front yard. And, the suit says, Rodrigue was pulled out of the car while still in pain.

“In spite of the plaintiff having informed Thibodeaux six times that her leg was broken, when she failed to place her other arm behind her back, he … stunned or Tased her repeatedly,” the suit says. “Defendant Thibodeaux then handcuffed the plaintiff and jammed his knee into plaintiff’s back, causing further injury as she begged him to help her and continued to cry out that he had broken her leg.”

A sheriff’s office internal investigation later cleared Thibodeaux of any wrongdoing in the arrest, attorneys said.

Throughout the arrest and subsequent struggle, the cameras kept rolling, the suit says.

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