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Homeless Woman Says Deputy Used Excessive Force

ALTOONA, Iowa — A homeless, handicapped woman says she was attacked by a Polk County Sheriff’s deputy, simply because she is homeless.

For eight months, Diane Smith says she has been panhandling near the Highway 65 off ramp on Hubbell Avenue without any problems. That is until recently, when the 50-year-old says she was attacked by a Polk County Deputy, who she says also choked her service dog.

Smith says Deputy Adam Rodgers called her to his patrol car. She says she offered her state issued weapons permit to Deputy Rodgers as identification. That’s when she says the deputy told her he felt threatened, so she walked away. “Next thing you know I’m in trouble and arrested he thinks I’m threatening him and I’m being thrown down on the ground and he hangs my service dog clear up in the air,” Smith says, “I don’t know what was in his mind. You know? I don’t know. he just…he hung her up and she wasn’t biting him, you know? “

Smith is charged with Interference With Official Acts. According to online records, this is her first serious arrest. A sheriff’s department spokeswoman is refusing to turn over police car dash-cam video of the incident, even though she acknowledges it is public information. She says she has to get permission from the Polk County Attorney first, even though there is no law or policy requiring her to do so.

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