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Pittsburgh official claims Detroit police assaulted her at hotel

Police chief says bodycam footage tells different story

DETROIT – Chelsa Wagner is the Allegheny County Controller in Pittsburgh.

She and her husband were in Detroit for a concert earlier this week. They were staying at the Westin Book Cadillac on Wednesday morning in Downtown Detroit when the couple had an incident with police. 

After the show, Wagner went to bed in her hotel room while her husband went to the hotel bar. It was about 1 a.m. when she heard a knock on the door. It was police with her husband in handcuffs.

Her husband had lost his room key, and because his name was not on the room he could not get a new key. Hotel security called police, who arrived and handcuffed him and brought him to his wife's room.

"(She) said, 'Well what has he done? What has happened? What's going on?' And they said it was none of her business," said Wagner's attorney, Heather Heidelbaugh.

Heidelbaugh said Chelsa Wagner became upset and was involved in some type of scuffle with an officer, during which she ended up on the ground and injured her wrist.

"The police officer grabbed her, shoved her to the ground -- she has bruises, she hurt her wrist. She did not touch the police officer," said Heidelbaugh.

But Detroit Police Chief James Craig said body cam footage tells a different story.

Craig told the Detroit News the following:

"The officers were being very police, saying 'ma'am, please.' At some point she decided to grab the officer, and he pushed her off him. She started to fall, and the officer tried to grab her to break her fall, because he didn't want her to be injured."

Craig said his officers could seek assault and battery charges against Wagner. It's unclear if that bodycam footage will be released.


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