Chaotic arrest caught on camera; Superior woman claims brutality

By KBJR News 1

January 22, 2014 Updated Jan 23, 2014 at 4:50 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- A Superior, Wis. woman is charging police brutality following a fight outside a downtown bar.

The incident was captured on tape and Superior police are asking bystanders to come forward with cell phone video. KBJR obtained a copy of the squad car video of the chaotic scene which can he seen in the video above.

On January 5th tensions were high as the Green Bay Packers had just lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Superior Police were called twice to the Keyport Lounge to deal with fights.

The second disturbance took place in the parking lot. The police report says two men were handcuffed and put into squad cars.

What followed was caught on police video provided by the Superior Police Department.

Natasha Lancour got into a verbal altercation with an officer who had responded to the fight.

Lancour's lawyer, Richard Gondik, reviewed the video of the fight that preceded the altercation with Lancour. He says the two men involved in the fight were already handcuffed, being taken to the squad cars.

Another officer rolled in and that is when you see the violence begin.

“The video shows that the officer gets up very close to Lancour and then drags her to the hood of his squad car where he slams her down. He then punches her in the face with a closed fist,” Gondik said.

In Police Officer George Gothner's report he writes:
"Suddenly Lancour reached up with her left hand and struck and scratched me across the right side of my face... My reaction was that I gave her a closed fist punch to the left side of her face..."

That would be the first of two closed fist punches and one open–hand slap.

Lancour's Lawyer Richard Gondik says he believes the video shows a dramatic excessive use of force.

"She is five–foot–nothing,"said Gondik. "She has never been arrested before, she has young children."

Asked if she had been drinking that night and Gondik said she had not.

The altercation between the officer and Lancour moves out of the range of the squad car camera, but Gondik says the results of the assault, as he calls it, were apparent on Lancour's face.

"She has marks on her face, swelling of the cheeks, as well as a cut between her lip and her chin," described Gondik. "As you can see the officer punches her with an uppercut right, knocking her down and off camera."

Gondik feels strongly that what happened to Lancour was clearly battery by an officer and an exercise of excessive force.

Superior Police attorney Gregg Gunta says his office has analyzed the video tape and feels this is a highly defensible case.

Police Chief Charles Lagesse says they have also looked closely at the tape and would like to find the people who were videotaping with their cell phones to see if their video shows more of what happened.

Chief Lagesse is asking those people to come forward.

"When the public views the video and the photos that your station will show, if they have any information on who these individuals are they should call our department," said Chief Lagesse.

Attorney Gondik also would like to see the cell phone videos to see what happened after Lancour was moved out of the range of the police camera. He believes the alleged assault on Lancour continued.

"The beat down continued off camera on the passenger side of the squad."

Chief Lagesse stresses that the men taking the video are not in any trouble.

Meanwhile Lancour believes she was treated the way she was because she's African American. In the video, Lancour charges "you did that sh## because I was black" as she was being transported to the jail where she spent the night.

Lancour is scheduled to be in court on charges of assaulting an officer and resisting arrest on January 31st.

If you have video of the incident or know someone who does, you are urged to contact Superior Police at 715-395–7490 or Richard Gondik's office at 715-395–3180.

Barbara Reyelts