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Woman accuses Federal Way cops of brutality during arrest | Hear the 911 call

Megan Graham after her release from jail last week. - Courtesy photo
Megan Graham after her release from jail last week.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

A Kirkland woman who faces a felony assault charge is also accusing Federal Way officers of police brutality during her arrest.

The arrest occurred about 7:15 p.m. May 27 in the parking lot of Forest Cove Apartments. The complex is located near SW Dash Point Road and SW 312th Street.

Megan Graham, 36, said she pulled into the parking lot to visit a friend when a Federal Way police cruiser drove up behind her with its lights flashing. She believed the officer saw her using a cellphone while driving.

As the confrontation began, Graham dialed 911. According to the 911 recording, Graham told the operator that she was being attacked and needed assistance.

"How dare you even touch me," she told the officer on the recording. The recording captured audio of a police officer repeatedly saying "You are under arrest," "put your hands behind your back" and "stop resisting." (LISTEN TO THE RECORDING HERE)

Graham faces a felony charge of assaulting a police officer. Her arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 10 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

According to Federal Way police, the officer made the traffic stop and was completing the infraction when Graham, the driver, began walking away with her dog and refused to get back in her vehicle.

The officer attempted to detain her, and according to police, was met with resistance. The officer advised Graham she was under arrest, and a second officer arrived to assist.

"Force was used to affect the arrest," according to Federal Way police. "The incident and the force used to affect the arrest is under review."

According to a report filed by Officer Justin Antholt, Graham had "bladed her feet and balled her fists in a fighter’s stance." The report said Graham attempted to strike Officer Ashley Crispin, who had arrived for backup.

"Crispin then responded with closed fist strikes to Graham's face, which brought her to the ground where she was handcuffed," according to the police report.

South King Fire and Rescue treated her for soft tissue injuries at the scene, according to police. Graham was then booked into the SCORE Jail for third-degree assault of a police officer, obstruction and resisting arrest.

Graham said she told the officer she was hard of hearing, and that she wanted to take her dog to a friend's apartment. That's when the officer grabbed her hand, she said, and she reached for her phone.

"The moment I pulled the phone out, he pulled a taser on me," Graham said. "I'm explaining to the operator what's going on. … All of a sudden I'm in a lock hold, he's got me down bent over like in wrestling. Every time he said 'stop resisting,' at the end of 'resisting,' he punched my face."

Graham said she was punched three times in the face.

"I could taste the blood going into the back of my sinuses," she said. "Once I was on the ground, I was hurt. … All of a sudden there's all these cops on top of me pushing my face in the ground. … It was just so unbelievably horrific and upsetting."

Despite a black-and-blue face and a concussion from the incident, Graham was quick to praise police for their role in public safety.

"I don't want people to take anything out on the police department. I want to hold the officers accountable for what they did," she said. "I didn't assault anybody. I didn't do anything."

911 recording and more

• To listen to the 911 call recorded during Graham's arrest, visit https://soundcloud.com/fwmirror/911-call-may-27-federal-way.

• To see case photos provided of the arrest by Federal Way police, click here.

• To read the full Federal Way police report of the arrest, click here.

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