Police release car's video of councilwoman's arrest

  • Follow Metro

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. --- An Atlantic Beach town councilwoman asks a police officer three times whether she can use the bathroom after getting out of her van during a traffic stop and is slowly walking away when the officer quickly grabs her and slams her against her van, according to a police video.

The dashboard camera video, released this week, recorded Retha Pierce's traffic stop by a Horry County officer Christmas night along U.S. Highway 17.

The video shows Ms. Pierce getting out of her van before Officer Robert Dale gets out of his cruiser. She says she needs to go to the bathroom. The officer ignores her and asks for her driver's license, registration and insurance card.

"Can't I just go to the bathroom?" Ms. Pierce responds.

"No, you're going to stay right here," the officer says.

"I have to use the bathroom," she says and takes a couple of steps away from the van. Without warning, the officer grabs her, slams her against the van and handcuffs her as she screams and sobs.

"But I've got to use the bathroom," she says.

"You can use it at the jail," he replies.

Ms. Pierce last week told The Associated Press she has a bladder problem and wet her clothes before arriving at the jail.

Ms. Pierce, 58, was charged with resisting arrest, reckless driving and failing to give a signal, according to an arrest warrant.

She has accused the officer of using excessive force and the Horry County Police Department is conducting an internal investigation.

"It will still be some time, I'm sure, before we close the investigation," said Sgt. Bob Carr, a department spokesman. The officer is still on duty.

Ms. Pierce told The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News she wanted to use the incident as a teaching tool.

"I can take what happened to me and bring to light that people should become educated of the urgency of staying in the car," Ms. Pierce said.

AT THE SCENE: Atlantic Beach councilwoman Retha Pierce was stopped by a police officer. As he approached, she informed him that she needed to use the bathroom.

OFFICER'S RESPONSE: The officer grabs and arrests Ms. Pierce after she begins to step away while asking to use the bathroom.

WHAT'S NEXT: Ms. Pierce has accused the officer of using excessive force, and the Horry County Police Department is conducting an internal investigation.

Comments (48) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
WhiskyDick
0
Points
WhiskyDick 01/05/08 - 07:36 am
0
0
http://videos.myrtlebeachonli

http://videos.myrtlebeachonline.com/vmix_hosted_apps/video/1630413

Ms. Pierce appears to be trying to cover up her actions - I don't see anything the officer did inappropriately.

LEO
0
Points
LEO 01/05/08 - 09:08 am
0
0
Ditto that! The officer was

Ditto that! The officer was doing his job and he did it professionally. More than likely, however, the charges will be dropped and no disciplinary action will be taken against the councilwoman - and the officer will be made to take sensitivity training!

rj1960j10
14
Points
rj1960j10 01/05/08 - 09:16 am
0
0
her fault for getting out of

her fault for getting out of the car

Ushouldnthave
0
Points
Ushouldnthave 01/05/08 - 09:50 am
0
0
Thanks for the post Whisky.

Thanks for the post Whisky. I don't know why the chronicle wouldn't put the video link in the article and let us judge for ourselves. Maybe they like their description of slamming and screaming and sobbing better than the truth.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 11:06 am
0
0
I wish the video would have

I wish the video would have shown how she was driving. I have thought about it if that happens what I woudl do, theres been plenty of times I've had to hightail it somewhere before I pee my pants, but I've never drove that slow to get there or swerved all over the place, lol The thing people dont understand is the officer is more wiling to give you a break if you dont disrespect them by not following orders and definately not resisting when you are being arrested. Had she not kept fighting, maybe she could have calmly taked him into letting her go, and when he pulled her over, she just said I gotta go to the bathroom and walks off... you dont ignore an officer and try to walk off. I thought she was drunk at first. She just casually steps out and goes to do what she wants. I think he could have gave her a few more warning though, Ive seent hem give violent criminals more of a chance to stop or get down on the ground, but just cuz one is too lax doesnt mean this one wasnt right in doing his job. She didnt pee herself til on the way to jail, so she could have given the officer the info then asked to go pee.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 11:15 am
0
0
http://www.myrtlebeachonline.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/crime_courts/story/301486.html Shes trying to play dumb that she didnt know you were supposed to stay in the car, a 58 year old mayor elect.... please... and even if she didnt the fact that an officer tells you not to walk away and you dont listen is what was so bad, he wasnt mad she got out of the car, its that she told him what she was going to do and tried to walk away!!

Beach Brat
0
Points
Beach Brat 01/05/08 - 11:15 am
0
0
she is a pig, and she is

she is a pig, and she is running for mayor. she is old enough to know better than walk away from a police officer. she is trying to turn the situation around on him and make herself look good. where did she think she was going to use the bathroom? on the ground beside her van?

DEVGRU
0
Points
DEVGRU 01/05/08 - 11:45 am
0
0
The officer acted correctly.

The officer acted correctly. It's obvious that the woman is an idiot.

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 01/05/08 - 12:26 pm
0
0
whiskey thanks for the link.

whiskey thanks for the link. it's a shame our newspaper tells about the link but don't have sense enough to add the link...can you get over there and help them edit the paper? anyway, I DON'T THNK she was trying to make excuses AFTER THE FACT. She says she hopes people understand the importance of staying in the car. So that's a biggie on her part. I just watched the video. Immediately after pulling over she gets out of the vehicle, in a hurry and then proceeds to walk off (where to???). That was suspicious even after reading the article and learning what she claimed she was doing. And the newspaper reporter says she asked to go to the bathroom three times and the officer ignores her...she didn't ask. she said she "gotta go" and SHE PROCEEDED TO IGNORE THE OFFICER...That's why the events that followed occurred. And she went on and on, and wouldn't put those feet and legs in the car. She better be glad she wasn't hogged tied!!!!!!At some point, she should have calmed down and shut up. And she never mentioned a bladder problem on the tape. The officer did nothing wrong. She's lucky she isn't hurt or dead.

sharpshooter
0
Points
sharpshooter 01/05/08 - 01:19 pm
0
0
Mam, we apologize for your

Mam, we apologize for your bladder issues and suggest the use of adult diapers in the future. Your campaign should teach others that ill prepared incontinence problems could make you appear drunk.

jcsorobert
0
Points
jcsorobert 01/05/08 - 02:13 pm
0
0
stupid witch...

stupid witch...

joes97
0
Points
joes97 01/05/08 - 03:05 pm
0
0
I didnt see the officer do

I didnt see the officer do anything wrong. He didnt need to ask her so many times to put her feet in the car in my opinion. They have elected a fine upstanding individual for Mayor in Atlantic Beach NOT.

canalfishing
2
Points
canalfishing 01/05/08 - 05:14 pm
0
0
i think the police officer

i think the police officer should have let her excuse herself,call in for a female police officer, and then ask for all them information. to all of you people out there who has wives,and mothers alike, what would you have done. i think it was right.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 06:11 pm
0
0
While i do think it was a lil

While i do think it was a lil excessive, not that the cop did anything at all wrong. He could have had more compassion but he didnt have to. She should have waited and asked if she could go and explain her medical condition and not walk away from the officer ignoring him, then fighting with him. she could have gotten her info like she started to do and explain the situtaion, but she changed her mind instead you see her go to get her stuff then change her mind and ignore the officer and keep trying to walk away. How does he know she wasnt drunk after the way she was driving, she wasnt speeding to get to a bathroom, she was driving slow and reckless, how did he know she wouldnt run because she just stole that car? Many people probably use the bathroom excuse, but she didnt even try to ask, she just ignored him. At her age and her position ignorance of "i didn't know" doesnt fly. All people have to do is follow directions from an officer and things will be fine... they dont like to be disrespected by a lawbreaker!

inside info
0
Points
inside info 01/05/08 - 07:57 pm
0
0
She got out and locked her

She got out and locked her car door on a traffic stop??? I think she was trying to hide something! Not a normal action for someone being stopped by the police.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 08:14 pm
0
0
yep you have a point, then

yep you have a point, then she was whining to lock it again, mayb she was a lil tipsy, but not drunk thas why she had to pee!!!! lol

happythoughts
25
Points
happythoughts 01/05/08 - 09:01 pm
0
0
I haven't watched the video

I haven't watched the video but I disagree with ANY man MAN HANDLING a woman. Women bring these men into the world and this is the kind of respect they show. We are fragile and not able to stand up to a man physically. What has become of men? What happened to real men who would take care of and take up for a woman?

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 09:35 pm
0
0
Oh puhhhlease. lol. While I

Oh puhhhlease. lol. While I agree to a certain extent, not all women are dainty and need protecting, they can be a crazy broads and commit crimes, fight, murder, steal, hit cops, a criminal is a criminal in my book, but all he did was restrain her from leaving because she wouldnt follow orders and was pulling trying to get away from him!! lol He didn't hurt her, if anything she was hurting herself by resisting him and not following directions. So while a man shouldnt manhandle a woman, a police matter is a different situation sometimes it can call for just restaining to killing if the situation is dangerous enough be it man woman dog, whatever. I think he could have cut her a lil slack though he wasnt required to, but we have no idea how dangerous she was driving to give him the impression she may be drunk or on drugs or w/e and feared she would flee. Bottom line... follow officers instructions!!!!!!!!!!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/05/08 - 10:03 pm
0
0
Chris Rock has an excellent

Chris Rock has an excellent instructional video on how not to get hassled by the police during a traffic stop. www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOx6OM01M5M

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 10:21 pm
0
0
lol, funny

lol, funny

KSL
140601
Points
KSL 01/05/08 - 10:39 pm
0
0
In my opinion, this lady

In my opinion, this lady didn't handle the incident well from the time she was pulled over for her supposed erratic driving to the end of the tape. Think about how much time she took up trying to resist, including not putting her feet into the car. Her behavior was bizarre. No wonder the officer dealt with her the way that he did. She acted like she was drunk.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 01/05/08 - 10:54 pm
0
0
What an [filtered word]hole. I hope my

What an [filtered word]hole. I hope my mother never runs into an officeer like this. Just last week on one of my construction jobs an officer came out and demanded that we stop work on the apartment building he was in because he had to sleep. He then came out and tried to get rough with the men and take pictures with a video camera. I told the men not to pay any attention to him. He got real mad. The owners then came down and told him that they couldn't stop work on a multimillion dollar apartment project because he had to sleep. He just thought because he was a police officer that he ruled the roost. I respect them but their word is not always right. He should have let the lady use the bathroom. I would have used it all over his seat if that were me. Made his car smell real good.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 01/05/08 - 11:01 pm
0
0
What an [filtered word]hole. I hope my

What an [filtered word]hole. I hope my mother never runs into an officeer like this. Just last week on one of my construction jobs an officer came out and demanded that we stop work on the apartment building he was in because he had to sleep. He then came out and tried to get rough with the men and take pictures with a video camera. I told the men not to pay any attention to him. He got real mad. The owners then came down and told him that they couldn't stop work on a multimillion dollar apartment project because he had to sleep. He just thought because he was a police officer that he ruled the roost. I respect them but their word is not always right. He should have let the lady use the bathroom. I would have used it all over his seat if that were me. Made his car smell real good.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/05/08 - 11:06 pm
0
0
She did denali. lol They

She did denali. lol They said she wet herself before arriving to jail. But I still think she also could have handled it differently to avoid what happened. I would have been like I'm so sorry officer I have a bladder problem and I really have to pee all while giving my license and reg like he asked for and waited to see if he would let me, not just ignore him and go to pee anyway and try to pull away frm him when he tries to stop you. She went to get her info then changed her mind and was gonna go pee whether he liked it or not. She wasn't acting right to me either,like I said maybe she was tipsy. She could have gotten a better response from the officer had she cooperated and not completely ignored him and walk away like she did. So I side with the cop. Sounds like that officer at your job was just a jerk. Yes it sucks cuz he has to sleep during the day, but its not you guys fault, you have a job to do.

greatlife
0
Points
greatlife 01/06/08 - 12:24 am
0
0
Thanks for the link. The

Thanks for the link. The author of the article must have watched a different video than I. I expected to see a mixed martial arts cage fight based on the articles "blow by blow". Sensationalism over accuracy. Stinks to be a cop.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/06/08 - 12:45 am
0
0
lmaooooo greatlife!!!

lmaooooo greatlife!!!

t2007
0
Points
t2007 01/06/08 - 02:25 am
0
0
The link was the other piece

The link was the other piece to the puzzle. Just by reading the article, I assumed that this was just another overzealous aggressive cop. Although I think his behavior was a little over the top when he grabbed her and pushed her against the car, I guess he was well in his rights as an officer because it was her responsibility to do what he asked. I think if she followed his instructions initially and asked him to use the rest room he may have allowed her. Although I would not want this to happen to myself, my mother, or any of my family members, I think we would have a certain obligation to do what the officer asked. Looking at it from a different perspective, she did seem a little excited. When I saw the tape, I wondered if she was trying to hide something because she jumped out of the car and wanted to go to the bathroom. From the tape, they did not seem like they were near a bathroom. I am sorry that this happened to Ms. Pierce, but I really feel it could have been avoided (because the tape was already running) They don't do things on tape. She just gave him a reason to be a butt hole on tape. The Chris Rock link was great, take heed people.

GnipGnop
12692
Points
GnipGnop 01/06/08 - 03:41 am
0
0
Maybe the woman made a bad

Maybe the woman made a bad choice but I think the cop went a little overboard.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 01/06/08 - 04:17 am
0
0
You can second guess any

You can second guess any officer at any time on every traffic stop. However, until you are an officer and understand that officers hear everything under the sun every day and that traffic stops are the number one public interaction that results in their being shot, you will not understand. As an officer, unfortunatley, you must be suspect of anyone when they are being pulled over. Someone who is driving eratically, pulls over, gets out immediately without instructed to do so, locks their vehicle, fails to comply with officer requests and then begins to leave the scene give this and every officer probable cause for suspicious activity. She may have wanted to leave the scene because she possessed drugs, had been drinking, etc. The officer merely in doing his job now gets to be judged by those who have no training or understanding of the position. Of course, without this training, the officer and others appear zeolous, non-compassionate, or maybe even that they are going a little overboard. In reality, they are protecting each of us by getting bad drivers off of the road, and protecting theirselves at the stop. This lady over and over failed to comply and he showed restraint.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 01/06/08 - 05:04 am
0
0
Atlantic beach is known for

Atlantic beach is known for trouble, so I wouldn't think her "clout" was as high as she thought...If I had done the same thing, I would have been going to jail bruised up, she knew what she was doing...I will bet this turns racial and NAACP shows up to rescue her and promote law suit against county.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Local merchants welcome Small Business Saturday

With having to compete with e-commerce and national retailers during the holiday season, local merchants welcome the spotlight that comes with Small Business Saturday.
Search Augusta jobs