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Published on May 11, 2024
Ant-agonized in Arrest, Galveston Woman Sues Santa Fe PD After 300 Fire Ant BitesSource: Unsplash/ Jan Baborák

A Galveston County woman is suing the City of Santa Fe and police officers after claiming a Santa Fe officer's actions led to her face being held in a pile of fire ants, causing her to be bitten more than 300 times. The incident, which involves allegations of police brutality and rights violations, has now spiraled into a legal battle with the city.

Taylor Rogers, the plaintiff, has named the City of Santa Fe, Sergeant Ruben Espinoza, and officer Christian Carranza in the lawsuit, detailing that the incident began when she, startled by a Santa Fe ISD police officer's shouts, made a wrong turn and drove in the opposite direction—a decision that led to a car chase. Espinoza is accused of ramming into Rogers' vehicle with her son inside, after which Carranza allegedly slammed Rogers to the ground, handcuffed her, and forced her face into a fire ant pile, as reported by FOX 26 Houston.

The severity of the claim is underscored by the harrowing experience captured on body-worn camera footage, which reportedly includes audible cries for help from Rogers. "Ants are on my face, ants are getting on my face. Please, help," she is heard to have said on the recording. Despite this, the Santa Fe Police Department has refrained from commenting on the situation, citing ongoing litigation, as reported by FOX 26 Houston.

Randall Kallinen, Rogers' attorney, deemed the incident akin to torture, a stark character assessment aimed at the officers involved. Not only has Rogers been left seriously injured, but the emotional trauma sustained by her and her family is an unwarranted fallout from what began as a mere traffic dispute. In a recent news conference mentioned by The Galveston County Daily News, Kallinen and community members called for accountability and laid out plans to address what they describe as a “horrific example of police behavior.”

As the case unfolds, Rogers is seeking compensation for her injuries while the community watches closely. The egregiousness of the claims elevates this beyond a personal crisis for Rogers, standing symbolically as a grim testimony to the endless potential for the breach of public trust when those meant to protect serve harm instead. The Santa Fe Police Department's silence lends gravitas to the quest for transparency and justice, with further developments expected as the litigation proceeds.