Woman files lawsuit claiming she was unlawfully arrested in Churchill

Woman files lawsuit claiming she was unlawfully arrested in Churchill

CHURCHILL, Pa. — A woman who claims she was unlawfully arrested has filed a lawsuit against the borough of Churchill and the police officer.

The arrest happened in September, according to the lawsuit.

You can customize your WPXI News App to receive Allegheny County news alerts. CLICK HERE to find out how.

Content Continues Below

Rebecca Suits is from Georgia but was in the area visiting a family member.

Suits still had a cast on her arm a month after her encounter with police Officer Steven Shaulis.

"When he reached my arm back, he twisted my wrist. He caused bruising to my wrist and there's still inflammation and damage," Suits said.

According to the criminal complaint, Suits was visiting the area to take care of her godmother and she went to take a walk in Churchill while video chatting with her husband.


That's when someone called police about a "suspicious woman" and Shaulis showed up and demanded to know what she was doing, according to the complaint.

I thought to myself, 'Why shouldn't I be able to take a walk? What's wrong with it? Is it because of where I am and the color of my skin?'" Suits said.

Suits then walked to her godmother's house in Wilkinsburg, while her attorney Todd Hollis said Shaulis followed her behind her in his police car.

That's when she said he barged into her godmother's home, demanded her ID, grabbed her and put her into custody.

Shaulis was previously a school resource officer in Woodland Hills and was caught on surveillance video, violently interacting with students.

"To the extent that Churchill thinks this conduct is acceptable and still allow person to patrol the streets of Churchill, then they're going to bear the consequences legally for their decision," Hollis said.

Suits was never charged.

Channel 11 reached out to the Churchill Police Department and solicitor, but we have not heard back.