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Two officers face inquiry after complaint

Dec. 18, 2008 at 9:38 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Two Florida police officers are under investigation after a diabetic woman said she was left alone and handcuffed while a transport van driver ate lunch.

Francesca Fretta said she was arrested Oct. 17 for failing to sign a speeding ticket -- a second-degree misdemeanor -- after arguing with the St. Petersburg police officer who pulled her over, John Douglas, about what she said was a mistake on the citation, the St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday.

"He wrote a Hyundai. I had a Daewoo," Fretta said. "When I tried to explain to him (the error), over and over again he keep asking: 'Are you refusing to sign the citation?'"

The arrest report said Fretta immediately fainted after her arrest and was taken to a hospital -- where Fretta said she was told while handcuffed that she had been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. Douglas then took Fretta to Officer Sandra Minor's prisoner transport van.

Fretta said in her complaint against Douglas and Minor that she was forced to sit in the back of the van while Minor waited to see if more prisoners would be delivered, the newspaper reported. The complaint says Fretta was left alone and handcuffed in the van for 30 to 40 minutes while Minor took a lunch break. She said she started blacking out due to stress and low blood sugar while she was alone in the vehicle.

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said inquiries were under way after Fretta's lawyer filed the complaints.

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