SCOTTS, Mich. (WOOD) - Michelle Selbee was ripped from her car by her hair, then handcuffed by deputies, who thought she was a suspect in a police chase that spanned three counties.
The police video is at left.
She was knocked to the ground in her driveway while deputies pulled their guns, she said.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department apologized to Selbee, and admitted she was mistakenly taken for one of the chase suspects.
But Selbee said the apology isn't enough.
The incident happened Friday, when investigators from several agencies were chasing John Metzelburg, who is believed to be behind a series of Kent County home invasions. He led police on the pursuit with his girlfriend, until the pair crashed their getaway vehicle into a tree, investigators said.
In Scotts, the pair fired shots at officers, according to police.
During the exchange of gunfire, Kalamazoo deputies lost sight of Metzelburg's car and rolled up on Selbee as she was pulling out of her driveway. They demanded she get out of her car.
"But before I could get (the door) open, he reached in and grabbed my hair and yanked me out of the car (and) onto the ground," Selbee said. "I spun into the dirt and then he jumps on my back.
"Then, he forcefully puts my hand behind my back and handcuffs me. Meanwhile, my son -- my 14-year-old son -- is watching this whole thing on the porch. Watching the whole thing, thinking that they were killing his mom, with guns aimed at his mom. And every time I lifted my head up, he jammed my head back into the dirt and told me to shut the f up. And they kept screaming and aimed their guns at my 14-year-old child."
A radio call eventually alerted deputies they had the wrong person.
"And instead of saying, 'are you OK, ma'am, can I call you an ambulance, ma'am, I'm sorry, ma'am,' anything -- he jumped off me and jumped in his cruiser and left me laying in the dirt," Selbee said.
When asked if he apologized, Sheriff Richard Fuller said yes.
"I did," he told 24 Hour News 8. "I made sure she understood we were very sorry for what happened."
Fuller met with Selbee personally and tried to explain that after being shot at, his deputies were under extreme duress.
One of the suspects involved was Metzelburg's girlfriend, he said, and the car the suspects were in was similar to Selbee's. Still, Fuller said, this was a mistake and he will review the actions of the deputy involved.
"There's no way this goes away, and we understand that this citizen needs to have this addressed," he added.
Selbee was taken to the hospital, but not seriously injured.
Asked 24 Hour News 8: "Can you understand that the police were being shot at, and had to use extreme caution when they pulled you over?"
Selbee answered: "No, because that was not extreme caution. That was brutality."
The deputy involved is on his normal days off right now, Fuller said, and it's too early to tell whether any disciplinary action will result.
Geoffrey Fieger's law firm plans to sue the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department, as it's representing Selbee.
Her attorney told 24 Hour News 8 she suffered broken ribs and other injuries.
The team wants the deputy who allegedly manhandled Selbee to be fired, a public apology, and to settle the case before it goes to court.
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