LAYTON — Dash camera video shows the July 25th mid-day arrest of Amanda Houghton.
Houghton is now planning to sue the officer seen in the video for wrongful arrest and violating her civil rights. She claims the Layton patrol officer “groped” her during a body search.
According to documents and dash camera video of the incident provided by Houghton’s attorney, Robert Sykes, the arrest on the corner of Fort Lane and Antelope Drive stemmed from a traffic accident in which Houghton was not at fault, Sykes said.
“Houghton was in a traffic accident, one that she didn’t even cause,” Sykes said.
“I felt violated, it was a shock to be searched that much,” Houghton said, recalling her July arrest for DUI and resisting arrest.
Houghton said she was on her way home from picking up a prescription from the pharmacy for her child, when she was rear-ended while stopped at a red light on Antelope Drive.
“I thought it was going to be pretty simple, give her (the driver of the car who hit her) a ticket then I’d be on my way. But it wasn’t that simple,” Houghton said.
The Layton Police officer who responded to the accident began accusing Houghton of being intoxicated.
“The officer kept asking if I had taken anything, I kept denying,” Houghton said.
She said suffered minor injuries to her feet and legs during the accident, and told the officers she was “in shock” and “shaking,” in the dash camera video, as the reason she seemed intoxicated.
“I had never been arrested before, I don’t know the process,” Houghton said.
After agreeing to take two separate field sobriety tests, she failed. The arresting officer in the video says, “I’m placing you under arrest for DUI.”
In the video, the officer moved Houghton toward the dash camera and explains the reason she’s being placed under arrest is due to having “other physical characteristics which are indicative of a controlled substance,” saying Houghton’s “eyes gave it away.”
“I was placed under arrest, groped and taken to jail,” Houghton said.
In the dash camera video, the arresting officer is seen using his thumbs to search Houghton’s chest.
“This is an outrageous abuse of power,” Sykes said.
Robert Sykes is representing Houghton in her civil case against the Layton Police officer. Sykes said according to documentation he has received from the Layton Police Department, all of her toxicology results came back negative.
“She had nothing to drink that day, no medications…zero, zero, zero, zero everything came back negative,” Sykes said.
Sykes sent the Layton Police Department a settlement demand letter, hoping to resolve the civil matter outside of court, but Houghton plans to take things as far as filing a federal lawsuit for a civil rights violation if she must.
Sykes said Layton Police has yet to drop the DUI and resisting arrest charges against her in Davis County. Charges are currently pending.
Lt. Travis Lyman, a spokesman for the Layton Police Department, said due to pending litigation, their agency is unable to make a comment on the incident at this time.