CULPEPER, Va. (WUSA) - A Culpeper native says she had a violent encounter four years ago with the same police officer who is being investigated in the shooting death of housewife Patricia Cook. A spokesman for the Town of Culpeper confirms Jeanette Price filed a complaint in August of 2008.
"Wow, that's the same guy. I couldn't believe it," said Jeanette Price when she saw a picture this week of Culpeper Police Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright who shot and killed an unarmed woman in a Jeep Wrangler. Price remembered him from four years ago when she says he pushed her so hard, she fell and sprained her wrist and went to a hospital for treatment.
"There he is, the same guy, the same one who pushed me. And this lady needs justice," said Price.
Price gave a copy of her medical record from the Culpeper Regional Hostpital to WUSA9 News. It is dated July 24, 2008. It reads, "Patients staets that the police pushed her through a window. She complains of shart pain in the right wriest which is constant radiates up th arm and exacerbated by movement..."
The physician found "joint pain, joint swelling, muscle pain, muscle stiffness, limitation of motion."
On May 15, 2012, WUSA9 News spoke briefly to Harmon-Wright who's been on paid administrative leave since the February 9th fatal shooting. That morning, he was responding to a suspicious person call in a school parking lot when he shot Patricia Cook, 54, six times. Harmon-Wright's attorney says Mrs. Cook caught his arm in her Jeep window and was dragging him.
An eyewitness says the officer was not caught and he was not being dragged. Cook's widower, Gary Cook, has filed a $5.35 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against Harmon-Wright.
"Why the man should pull a gun on a middle aged woman is beyond me," said Cook.
"I think to this day, it could have been me," said Jeanette Price, 40, whose encounter with the officer in 2008 was at her former home on Highland court. Mrs. Price, a mother of four, said she was standing inside leaning out of a large open window yelling at her husband James who was shouting back at her from outside, about 15 feet away from the house.
The argument got so heated, Mrs. Price called the police. Officer Harmon-Wright, whose name was Sullivan at the time, arrived and spoke to James first.
James Price says after a few minutes, Jeanette yelled something and Officer Sullivan's face suddenly turned red and angry. Mr. Price says Officer Sullivan turned toward his wife and stalked deliberately toward her. Mr. Price says the officer shouted "I told you to get back in the house," and "Shut Up!"
"Then he just pushed her with both hands, knocking her to the floor. My wife's not a small lady. It was violent shove." Mr. Price said.
"He was so angry, he just snapped," said Mrs. Price, who says she fell backwards on her wrist, spraining it. "I think he has something against women, because I called for the officer to handle my husband. Instead of my husband assaulting me, the officer did," said Price.
Mr. Price said he was furious and said, "Don't be putting your hands on my wife," as he went to check on his wife who was on the floor.
The Prices insist Jeanette was not throwing anything or threatening the officer when he pushed her.
Both Jeanette and James have had trouble with the law, but they say that should not discount their claim that Officer Harmon-Wright used excessive force, and should have been disciplined at the time.
The Town of Culpeper put out two statements concerning the complaint:
1. An internal affairs (IA) investigation was conducted and completed. Unfortunately, the Town's policy has consistently been that we do not share the results of IA investigations, as they are considered confidential personnel matters. To act in a manner not in accordance with our policy, even if it would benefit us to do so, would not be good practice.
We regret that we cannot comment further on this matter, but we want to assure the community that ALL citizen complaints are thoroughly investigated and all complaints are taken seriously.
2. After Ms. Price filed the complaint, she did receive a letter from then Police Chief Scott Barlow acknowledging her complaint. Further, Captain Rick Pinksaw then spoke with Ms. Price on no less than 2 occasions in regards to her complaint, and he also requested that she submit to him copies of hospital records documenting her alleged injury. Ms. Price never produced any such documentation.