A San Diego police officer was hurt Wednesday in a squabble with a woman who allegedly became violent as she was being issued a parking ticket in Mission Bay.
San Diego Police Department Officer Billy Hernandez said the woman “became belligerent” during the encounter, which began around 8:30 a.m. as a park ranger tried to issue the woman a citation for parking her car and RV on a grassy area at a park.
The 31-year-old woman, who lives in the RV, was argumentative over the citation and Hernandez said this prompted the park ranger to call SDPD for back-up.
According to SDPD Lt. Shawn Takeuchi, responding officers said they could hear the woman screaming over the radio when they were called to help.
But homeless rights advocate Coleen Cusack told NBC 7 it was the police who provoked the situation.
"This should never have been a physical encounter between the police and a person who's just trying to live. This should have not been a crime," Cusack said.
An attorney who spoke to the RV owner at the Las Colinas Detention Facility said the woman was only trying to drive onto the grass so she could jump the battery on her RV using her car. To do that, she needed the vehicles to be near one another, the attorney said.
Two SDPD officers arrived at the scene to assist the park ranger and, from there, the situation escalated.
As they tried to arrest the woman for refusing to sign the citation, a struggle between her and the officers ensued. Hernandez said one SDPD officer was hurt.
Takeuchi confirmed one officer injured his knee due to "indirect action" from the struggle. He was taken to a local hospital by another officer. The severity of his injury, at this point, is unknown.
Takeuchi said the officer hurt in the incident has more than 20 years of experience on the job.
Officials said the woman was taken to a hospital for evaluation. Takeuchi said the woman had no visible injuries but complained of pain in her arm.
Once she is released from the hospital, Takeuchi said she will be booked into Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facilty in San Diego's East County. She will, at minimum, face one count of resisting arrest, he said.
"This is about making sure people are following the law because we just can't have people doing what theyw at, and in this case we can't have numerous people -- cars parked on a park," Takeuchi said.
Investigators are still gathering details on the incident. NBC 7 spoke with several RV dwellers in Mission Bay Wednesday who said they did not see or hear the altercation.
No other information was available.