Witnesses claim police officer punched pregnant woman

Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 15:59:49-05

GILBERT, Ariz. — The Gilbert Police Department has pulled two officers off patrol and placed them on desk assignments after allegations they used excessive force during the arrest of a 24-year-old woman.

Rickeda Jobe was allegedly punched by a Gilbert police officer when she reportedly resisted arrest. (CNN)

The incident was video recorded on a cell phone by Sophia Perez, who was inside her home in a neighborhood near Gilbert Road and Elliot Road.

Perez said she heard a woman outside her home screaming at the top of her lungs. When she went outside to see where the screaming was coming from, she saw three officers grappling with a handcuffed woman.

“She was, you know, trying to get away from them. She was already cuffed, by the time I came out here. And she was just resisting arrest, is what she was doing,” said Perez.

Within a few seconds Perez’s mother, Margaret Gutierrez joined her in the front yard of their home and watched as the struggle to arrest 24-year-old Rickeda Jobe played out.

“She was screaming and yelling saying, ‘My son’s down the street! Don’t arrest me! I’m pregnant!’ She was handcuffed. The officer pushed her up against the car and you could see where he pulled her hair,” said Gutierrez.

The incident happened Sunday around 6:30 p.m. Police were called to the area because Jobe was allegedly in violation of a court order by visiting a house nearby.

When officers located Jobe and placed her under arrest, she put up a fight. Perez and Guiterrez both say they saw Jobe kicking the officers and spitting at one in the face. But, both were appalled when they saw one of the officers react with a punch to Jobe’s face.

“It looked like one of the officers had pulled her hair because she went back like this. And she said, ‘Stop hitting me,’ and she turned and spit at the officer. That’s when the officer clocked her right in the face,” said Perez.

You can hear Gutierrez screaming at Jobe to stop resisting so she wouldn’t get hurt. Gutierrez can also be heard screaming profanities and other things at the officers in objection to what she was witnessing.

“I went ballistic. I was going crazy that I just saw that, especially from the officer. I didn’t think that would happen. What bothers me the most is, I guess, the being so forceful. You know, he could have put her head down instead of punching her. He could have just grabbed her and put her head down and they could have walked her around instead of punching her. That was just too brutal for me,” said Gutierrez.

Perez posted the video on her Facebook page and also on YouTube. Both women said they were interviewed by a Gilbert sergeant looking into the allegations of excessive force.

Jobe was arrested on charges of violating a court order, two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

According to a release by Gilbert police, during the course of the arrest Jobe allegedly also bit an officer in the hand.

Gilbert police are conducting an administrative investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

The police officers at the scene have been identified as Officers Michael Ander, Brandon Wilson and Ryan Sheppard.

Wilson and Sheppard have been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Attempts to reach Jobe for comment were unsuccessful.