Leila Tarantino (pictured), has filed a lawsuit against the Citris County Sheriff’s Office for a 2011 traffic stop during which she alleges that a female officer removed a tampon during a road side strip search in plain sight of oncoming traffic, the Sun Sentinel reports.
Tarantino alleges that the incident began when she was pulled over by an officer in Beverly Hills, Florida. She claims that he wielded his gun, yanked her out of her vehicle, handcuffed her, then threw her in the back of his squad car. Tarantino claims that the officer did not explain why he stopped her.
The officer then called for backup and five other deputies arrived on the scene. Tarantino claims that she was then strip searched by a female officer in full view of traffic passing the scene. The woman also says that her young children witnessed the scene.
Not only were Tarantino’s clothes allegedly taken off, but her tampon was also “forcibly removed” by the female cop.Tarantino alleges that she never told why she was being searched by the deputies during the ordeal.
After the search produced no drugs, weapons or anything illegal, Tarantino was allowed to leave and given a traffic citation.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office has denied Tarantino’s claims in a statement to ABC Action News.
“The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office wants to go on record as saying the allegations made in this lawsuit are not only ludicrous, but completely untrue. Yes, a traffic stop was conducted on July 17, 2011. The plaintiff was issued a criminal citation for violation of restrictions on her driver’s license. She also was issued a written warning for rolling through a stop sign.
No strip search was conducted, and the plaintiff’s tampon was never forcibly removed by any deputy.
It is the Sheriff’s Office intent to aggressively defend itself against these malicious allegations.
Tarantino has been arrested multiple times in the past for drug possession, driving under the influence and domestic battery. “
The deputies involved in the strip search have not been named and the case is still under investigation.