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Woman punched by Federal Way officer pleads not guilty

Megan Graham, 36, was arrested May 27 in the parking lot of Forest Cove Apartments, located near SW Dash Point Road and SW 312th Street in Federal Way. - Federal Way Police Department photo
Megan Graham, 36, was arrested May 27 in the parking lot of Forest Cove Apartments, located near SW Dash Point Road and SW 312th Street in Federal Way.
— image credit: Federal Way Police Department photo

An outside agency is reviewing the case of a Federal Way police officer who punched a woman during her arrest.

Kirkland resident Megan Graham, 36, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment June 10 for a third-degree felony assault charge stemming from the arrest. Her next court date is June 24 to determine whether the case will go to trial.

The Port of Seattle Police Department is investigating the use of force by Federal Way police in the arrest.

"The outside agency review is ongoing and was ordered to assure objectivity and public trust," Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said in an email.

Graham was arrested May 27 at the Forest Cove Apartments parking lot, 30910 15th Pl. SW. Officer Justin Antholt made the initial traffic stop after he saw Graham talking on a cellphone while driving.

According to police, Graham ignored orders to stay in her vehicle while Antholt wrote the infraction. Standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing 260 pounds, Graham allegedly outmuscled the 155-pound officer as he attempted an arrest.

Officer Ashley Crispin arrived for backup. According to police, Graham assumed a fighting stance and attempted to strike Crispin. That's when Crispin punched Graham in the face before completing the arrest.

Graham, who said she has a hearing disability, dialed 911 during the confrontation. In the 911 recording, she told the operator she was under attack, while officers repeatedly told Graham to stop resisting arrest.

Post-jail photos show Graham with a swollen eye and a bruise that takes up the left side of her face. Graham said she was later beaten at the SCORE Jail in Des Moines after the arrest in Federal Way.

Graham was advised by her attorney not to talk to the media. Her husband, Geoffrey Richie, issued a statement to The Mirror.

"Megan wants everybody to know that she thinks police provide a valuable public service," he said. "Sometimes people make mistakes and they need to be held accountable. But incidents like this should not destroy our faith in our public servants."

Listen to the 911 call:

(Pictured: This photo shows Megan Graham after her release from jail)

• 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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