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Woman sues Bexar County over 2015 jury duty arrest

Wendy Cummings jailed for having 'brass knuckles' on her keychain

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman who was arrested while serving jury duty has filed a lawsuit over the incident that happened nearly two years ago.

Wendy Cummings was detained for several hours in July 2015 when she was accused of attempting to bring a deadly weapon into the courthouse. She's now suing Bexar County, former Sheriff Susan Pamerleau and the deputy who arrested her.

Cummings originally shared her story with KSAT court reporter Paul Venema, calling her jury duty experience a nightmare.

"It was scary. I just kept thinking, 'When am I going to see my husband?'" Cummings said.

The mother of two was returning from a lunch break when deputies working security found a variation of brass knuckles in Cummings' purse. She told KSAT she carried the device on her keychain for self-defense. She also said she went through the security checkpoint with the keys in her purse unnoticed earlier in the day.

"As soon as he pulled it out, I said, 'Oh my God. I'm sorry. I'm not a criminal,'" Cummings said.

Cummings told Venema she offered to throw the keychain out or return it to her car, but the deputy detained her instead.

"I put my hands behind my back, he cuffed me, shackled my feet and said, 'This is a third-degree felony,'" Cummings said.

Cummings was taken before a judge, who set her bond at $1,000.

That arrest is now the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by Cummings' attorney on Monday. The lawsuit alleges Cummings was mistreated by jail guards, who ridiculed her and denied her medical attention.

The suit alleges the arrest constituted false imprisonment/unlawful detention and caused intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation.

The suit also accuses the deputy who arrested Cummings of having a history of disciplinary issues, but the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday it found "no disciplinary history on file" for the deputy named in the suit.

The charges against Cummings were dropped and the case was dismissed. She is now seeking to recover her attorney fees and an unspecified amount of money in punitive damages for her trouble. 

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