Exotic dancer says she was roughed up by cops

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SAN DIEGO, CA – A dancer at Cheetah’s Gentlemen’s Club says she was roughed up by the cops in retaliation for filing a claim against the San Diego Police Department.

DANCER“They were like, oh, this one works at Cheetahs,” said Heather Durden, a badly bruised 21-year old who was taken to jail early Thursday morning.

She says was walking to her apartment at 2 a.m. when a patrol car pulled up and asked to see her identification.

“Everything was fine until they found out where I worked.”

Then she says another patrol car arrived and she was handcuffed and put in the back of car.

“I didn’t have any idea what I was being arrested for or if I was being arrested,” said Durden who says she asked repeatedly, but no one would say anything to her. “I kept asking and asking and they said nothing.”

She admits she had been drinking alcohol and had moved her bound hands from the back of her body to the front – that’s when things got really rough.

“They threw me on the ground,” said Durden, explaining that one officers was on her back while the other was holding up her legs, “they hog tied me and then threw me in the back of the car.”

Lying on her stomach, with her feet and hands bound behind her, without a safety belt, the female officer drove her to Las Colinas Woman’s Detention Facility in Santee.

“I’m pretty sure it was on purpose,” said Durden, who has a severe black eye, swollen forehead and bruised cheek among other injuries, “my head kept going against the door jerking me around the back of the car. I kept screaming because it hurt and they kept telling me to shut up.”

Durden is one of the Cheetah’s dancers who earlier this week filed a claim against the department after vice officers raided the strip club and took naked pictures of the dancers.

“It happened right after we filed the claim and it made a big media splash,” said defense attorney Dan Gilleon, who is representing both claims, “it was an embarrassment for the police all over the country.”

Gilleon says the officers had no right to detain Durden in the first place and that this is a clear case of retaliation.

“These officers could be out there looking for actual criminals and instead they handcuffed and hog-tied a young girl, took her out to Santee for nothing. They didn’t even charge her with anything.”

Durden spent 8 hours in the hospital getting an ultra sound and CT scan of her brain. San Diego Police issued a statement late Friday saying Durden was booked for drunk in public and was restrained because she was combative and a danger to herself and property.

16 comments

  • Fred Ford

    Pigs….what are you a freaking 60 ‘ s hippie? Oh wait I’m sorry, you’re probably a teacher leaching a paycheck for passing out papers and collecting them and then giving out 4 hours of homework a night asking the parents to actually do your job. Dude!!!

  • rrr

    It is sad what this young lady needs to do to make money. Just as sad that those out there to protect and serve still continue to abuse their power. On a side note police taking inappropriate pics of women, really? Why would they need those. That is sad sdpd. I hope that case goes to court and those involved are punished. Those ppl are no different than the criminals they bust. Inappropriate.

  • sddoublee

    The young ladies did nothing wrong. SDPD is out of control and they know it. Fed's are getting involved. Hopefully that will fix things.

  • Grandma Walton

    Everything is going to be O. K…
    SDPD has a new dike chief and will fix the problems within the department…
    Give it time, the new chief will be hanging out at Cheetah's pounding a beer and asking for another lap dance.

  • dgripon

    I don't know where the truth lies here, but I can say, with absolute certainty, that cops do things like this and their way out is always the same. If the suspect has any alcohol in them at all, the police will always use that as their defense claiming they became combative and resisted. With 3 police officers sticking to the same story and no witnesses, they will always walk away unscathed.
    Yes, even San Diego Police Department has rogues.
    By the same token, suspect with alcohol in their system, quite often, will become combative and force is required to subdue them and as the alcohol may wear off and they become less aggressive the next day, their anger often remains and will retaliate by making false claims.
    The two things that give her story an edge to me is that, according to her, they just rolled up and asked for ID with good cause. If this is true then I have a problem with that, but the bigger issue for me is where it took that much force to regain control over a petite female. Enough force to do that much damage to her. She didn't beat herself up like that and some cops do get angry and do take a few cheap shots on occasion.
    I suppose the same one could apply the same theory here that the police have used many times when they justify arresting someone to themselves and that is:
    Guilty of this accusation or not, they've probably gotten away with it before.
    In no way am I suggesting these officers have now or ever committed such an act, but it is not impossible.

  • devilswork

    The cop's are out of control, it's about time we take up arms against the goosestepping jack-booted thugs, Totally uncalled for. it's called CONTROL!! we either stop it or they continue to harass the citizens. Want a ride behind my truck pig?? MOLON LABE

  • fred

    Devilswork….tough guy behind a keyboard. No thanks. I'll take the 99% of upstanding officers to morons like you. Have a smoke and go back to your room in mommy and daddy's house.

    • devilswork

      want to come tell me that personally?? you and all the other cops are corrupt and serve only to harass and control, your nothing but a stain! LOSER, hahahaha

  • gradydog

    as the saying goes it takes 2 to tango….so I see there was most likely a little wrong doing on both parties behalf as to how this unfolded, but I find it very odd that multiple officers were not able to restrain her without causing injury. because we all know if any person is in the least amount showing signs of resisting you can darn well count on them charging the person for that act. people forget that once your in handcuffs the balls in their court and they also hold all the cards,so your best bet is to follow their instructions and maintain a agreeable persona so they would have no reason to exhibit unwarranted physical force upon you.

  • DavidM

    Anyone else notice that the "defense attorney" who's pursuing the claim says she was held for 8 hours and not charged but Police say she was booked for drunk in public. If she was booked, she would know it; fingerprints, mug shots. etc. If she wasn't, then someone lied to the Police spokesman. Sounds like the reporter should have asked a few more questions so we could tell who was being honest.

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