Pregnant Woman Tased by Police in Chicago Over Parking Violation

Chicago Police officers
Chicago Police officers

Tiffany Rent stood hunched over in pain outside a Far South Side courthouse in Chicago on Wednesday, tears streaming down her face as she worried about whether her unborn son had been harmed when a Chicago police officer shocked her with a stun gun the previous night.

Rent, who is eight months pregnant, said the officer knew she was expecting and accused him of overreacting during a dispute that began over a parking violation.

“I didn’t hit anybody,” Rent said. “I didn’t do anything.”

But police say Rent, 30, swore at the officer and tried to take off in her SUV when he said he was going to arrest her.

The incident occurred late Tuesday when Rent allegedly parked near a handicapped spot at a Walgreens in the 10300 block of South Michigan Avenue while her fiance, Joseph Hobbs, went inside to buy a battery for her car’s key chain remote, police and Hobbs said.

A police officer wrote a parking ticket, but Rent tore it up and threw it at him, according to a police report. The officer got out of his car to write her a ticket for littering and asked her for identification, the report said.

“I ain’t giving you (expletive),” the report quoted Rent as saying.

As Rent got back into her SUV, the officer warned that he would use his stun gun if she drove away. When Rent “put her right hand on the gear shifter in an attempt to put the car in gear and leave the scene,” the officer fired the weapon, the police report said.

Hobbs, the father of Rent’s unborn son, was arrested and beaten when he tried to intervene, Hobbs suffered a dislocated elbow during the arrest.

Rent was released after treatment at two separate hospitals. She and Hobbs were charged with misdemeanor offenses.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy declined to discuss details of the incident but said police are generally authorized to use a Taser to prevent an escape or overcome an assault. The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating.