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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pittsburg woman arrested after talking on phone in college library

     

    Police and a woman they arrested in the Los Medanos College library this week are providing differing accounts of what led to a struggle in which she struck her head.

    Contra Costa Community College District police say the 18-year-old Pittsburg woman, Raychelle Williams, ignored commands to leave the Los Medanos library after speaking on her cell phone Monday, but Williams and a witness disputed the allegations.

    An officer “”grabbed my arm and he threw me into a bookshelf,”” Williams said.

    Williams said she had bruises on her head and arms from the struggle.

    She said she previously attended classes at the college and was using the library, which is open to the public, to apply for jobs online. She was speaking to her father on her cell phone when a librarian told her she could not use the phone inside.

    “”She continued to use the cell phone and was asked to leave,”” police spokesman Tim Leong said. “”When she refused, the employee called us for assistance.””

    A college spokeswoman said the librarian did not want to comment for this story.

    A responding officer again told her she had to leave, Leong said.

    “”She began to argue with the officer and threatened the employee with violence,”” he said.

    The officer arrested her but did not initially handcuff her, at which point she began to struggle, Leong said. When the officer tried to handcuff her, she resisted.

    “”The officer decided he had to take

    the next measure and bring her to the ground,”” Leong said.

    Williams was cited on suspicion of resisting arrest and released. She refused medical attention.

    Williams said Wednesday that she followed all orders from the librarian and the officer, and did not argue until the officer placed a hand on her.

    Kenya Hawkins said he was in the library at the time, and that Williams ended her phone conversation when she was asked to and did not cause a disturbance.

    She agreed to leave the library after the officer asked her to, and then appeared to go back to the computer to pick up her belongings and log off the computer she was using, he said.

    “”He must have thought she was going back to work,”” Hawkins said. “”It didn’t have to become physical.””

    Leong said police were still interviewing witnesses Wednesday and continuing their investigation.

    Had Williams been a student, she would have been looking at an expulsion rather than an arrest, following the college’s student code of conduct, he said.

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