MOUNT DORA, Fla. - Channel 9 talked to a Lake County family Friday who is upset after they said police interrogated their 13-year-old daughter for hours in 2009 without their permission.
Police received a call about kids throwing rocks at a building in downtown Mount Dora. The girl was near the scene when police arrived but told them she wasn't throwing rocks and had nothing to do with the vandals.
According to the report, police slammed her to the ground so hard that her tube top came off. Police then handcuffed the girl and interrogated her for hours without allowing her to call her parents, the report says.
Because authorities are encouraged by law to notify parents before they interview minors, the case against the city is strong, according to WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
Channel 9's Kenneth Craig spoke with the now 17-year-old's mother, who said the ordeal has been emotionally devastating.
"It's been four years of hell," said the victim's mother, Marie Henry. "It's been like a nightmare. I pray no other mother would ever, ever have to go through this."
"I was mortified," the girl said of that night.
The girl was never charged and an internal investigation eventually cleared both officers.
Channel 9 obtained a copy of the internal affairs report, which said the girl's arrest was legal. It also said the arrest was justified because the teenager was convicted on a charge of obstruction when she wouldn't give police her name.
"I think the law is clear, that not giving the police your name is not a crime," said Henry.
The investigation showed keeping the teenager at the police department for hours was acceptable, even though Henry had to make calls on her own to even find out her daughter was in custody.
"I could never have imagined something like that would happen in this country," said Henry.