91-year-old woman describes traffic stop that landed her in hospital

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The Lee County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference Wednesday to address an incident that took place in Bonita Springs earlier this month. A traffic stop resulted in a deputy handcuffing a 91-year-old woman, which caused her to have bruises and burns. She had to be taken to the hospital.

Dorothy Friedenreich is doing better this evening but whenever she looks at the pictures of her bruised arms, she instantly remembers the pain and fear she felt.

He handcuffed me with these red hot handcuffs. He burned my arms, they were bleeding. The blood was all over my driver’s license,” Friedenriech said. 

A Lee County sheriff’s deputy handcuffed her in her own driveway after she failed to stop at a stop sign. Friedenreich said she didn’t even see the sign and that the deputy seemed upset with her.

“He was mad because he thought I was running away from him,’ she said. “He took my two arms and he pushed them behind my back until I was screaming ‘help, help, you’re killing me, you’re killing me’ and I’m crying.”

The deputy also wouldn’t let her call her husband Arnold, who was right inside the home at the time.

“The officer acted inappropriately. The police department [sic] acted appropriately,” said Friendenrich.

After a personal apology from Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, the Friedenreichs feel a lot safer and more appreciated.

“I was sickened,” said the sheriff said in Wednesday’s press conference.

When Marceno saw the pictures, he was unsettled. He said it reminded him of his own grandmother.

“And, if this had happened to her, words would not express how I feel and what I would want to say or do,” he said.

While Friedenreich is sure she’ll recover, she’s more concerned about the state taking away her license because of this ticket.

“I’m 91 years old and I’ve never- I’ve only gotten one ticket in my whole life,” she said.

The sheriff is going to do what he can to make sure she can keep driving, even volunteering to pay the fines associated with the ticket.

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