Reason 24/7 features a story on a cop in Florida who carried out what is called a P.I.T (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver on a speeding car back in October. The maneuver is commonly used by police to stop reckless drivers who pose a serious danger to others on the road.
However, in this instance the driver was 62-year-old Sandra Silasavage, who was driving her 2008 Ford Expedition at 57mph on a stretch of road with a 55mph speed limit. Deputy Sean Freeman of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department, who forced Silasavage off the road, claims that he saw her hunched over the wheel and did not slow down when he turned his blue lights on. Silasavage claims that she did not see the lights.
Silasavage might have been hunched over because of a horse riding accident from decades ago that broke her back. Her spine is permanently bent and twisted, she requires a cane to walk, and has a morphine pump implanted in her spine. Freeman evidently thought Silasavage dangerous enough to force her off the road, total her car, and put her in hospital. She has been charged with fleeing and eluding and possession of four oxycodone pills without a prescription. The Sheriff's Office maintains that Deputy Freeman's use of the P.I.T maneuver was acceptable.
Understandably, Silasavage is upset:
"I was so angry. I could not believe he did that while I was trying to pull over," Silasavage said. "I can't understand it. He said he was concerned we were close to a construction site, but that's another four miles farther west."
Inmates thought the charges laughable:
"It's ludicrous," Silasavage said. "Fleeing and eluding? Ridiculous. Just take a look at me. Are you kidding? The inmates at Rock Road all fell about laughing when they heard what I'd been charged with. I was sitting in a wheelchair."
The case has yet to go to court.