A middle school cleaning lady was arrested and shocked with a stun gun after two Collegedale police officers mistook her for a burglar.
According to the police report, two Collegedale Police officers noticed an open front door at Ooltewah Middle School around 8:15 p.m January 11. Knowing the school had been burglarized in the past, they made entry through the open door and with firearms drawn to "tactically" clear the building.
After seeing cleaning supplies, they thought it may be a janitor. The report said they, " came upon a trashcan and some cleaning supplies outside a student restroom area and briefly discussed the potential presence of the school's janitorial staff."
That's when they saw Juana Raymundo, 36, wearing her " ABM" company t-shirt. The officers asked her several times in English to identify herself, however, it was quickly apparent that she did not understand English as she merely said, "No."
Keeping their fire arms at a low-ready, they asked for her, " Identificatio'n?" and " Lincencia?" Officers say Raymundo ignored their commands to stop and instead slowly moved passed them toward the doorway.
Police say she took off walking quickly down the hallway toward the cafeteria, then began running at a fast sprint. Officers chased her through the cafeteria, down the stairs and across the parking lot where police say they yelled for her stop in both Spanish and English saying, "Alto, Policia!" When she didn't stop, the officer used his stun gun on her.
"Well if I couldn't understand the majority of what they were saying and I had guns pointed at me, I'd be pretty scared too," said resident Christy Wells-Rece. "I can't imagine a situation under which it could be any more clear what she was there for."
The arrest now has many questioning whether or not Collegedale Police can effectively communicate with everyone in the community.
"Horrible, just horrible and can you imagine what that poor lady feels like," said resident Jessica Colon. " It's just abusive."
Raymundo was charged with evading arrest and she has bonded out of jail for $750 dollars.
" With everything you see on the News and things happening around the country, who knows what was running through her mind," said Ugene Colon. " There seems to be a systematic disconnect between the community and the police especially and I hate to say this ...if you are a Hispanic or a minority and in this lady's case that was a perfect example of there not being the communication necessary. It's obvious to me that the lady was not a criminal."
It is unclear why Raymundo ran, she is in the country legally with a visa from Guatemala, we have been unable to confirm her work status. Police would not comment on this case because it's an open investigation.