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Utah woman with disability suing over treatment during arrest

Posted at 9:41 PM, Feb 27, 2024

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — A Utah woman is suing the state and Wasatch County, claiming her disability rights were violated when arrested for charges that were later dismissed.

Her attorneys allege her treatment and the jail facilities were not in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Before the incident, Louise Kingston of Hideout suffered from a stage 4 pelvic organ prolapse, which causes her pain and lack of control over her bladder and bowels. The government recognizes her as disabled.

On Oct. 15, 2022, the mother-of-four was arrested for an alleged DUI.

Trooper bodycam video shows Kingston asking repeatedly if she could use the bathroom before they leave for the jail.

"Is there any way I can go to the bathroom?" she asked.

"Once you get to the jail, yes," responded the trooper.

"I feel like I'm going to poop cause I'm nervous," she later said.

"Well, don't poop in my car, please," replied the trooper.

"We couldn't understand why I couldn't go to my own toilet and he couldn't even be standing in the bathroom with me," Kingston told FOX 13 News.

The trooper pulled out something that resembled a plastic tarp for Kingston to sit on for the ride.

"Just in case. I'm going to be straight with ya, this is a brand new car," said the trooper in the video.

"No, I actually...did you know I'm disabled?" replied Kingston.

"That was embarrassing, humiliating, mortifying enough but also I had this physical impending doom where I can't hold it sometimes," she explained to FOX 13 News.

In the time it took for the trooper to fill out paperwork and conduct tests, not once was she given the bathroom she was promised.

"There was no effort undertaken by the state to confirm that she was so disabled," said one of her attorneys, Thomas Shaw.

Kingston was placed in a cell where jail personnel allegedly "laughed at and mocked her." The cell had no toilet.

"I just laid on the first cell floor just in tears. I can't wait," she said.

Once she was taken to a bathroom, she couldn't stop.

She said staff eventually recognized her bowel problems and took her to a second cell with a toilet. However, that toilet was not ADA compliant.

Kingston said her medical conditions are now worse after that night.

"With the force, the stress, the swelling, the pressure of pushing down to go when I'm squatting in the air, it really wreaked havoc with pain," she said.

The Utah Highway Patrol sent FOX 13 News a statement: “We are aware of the allegations that have been brought forward by Ms. Kingston. We take all allegations seriously and will review the incident thoroughly. Due to ongoing litigation we are not able to elaborate more fully on the details in this matter.”

FOX 13 News reached out to the Wasatch County Attorney's Office and the Wasatch County Manager and did not receive a response.

Kingston is demanding a jury trial for her case.

The DUI charges were later dismissed with prejudice.