Epileptic woman claims Pismo Beach police assaulted, arrested her



Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Andrea Hansen's city of residence. Hansen declined to comment about her case, but told New Times she did not provide statements to Police State USA despite quotes attributed to her in other articles appearing online.

On the morning of Nov. 18, New Times obtained a copy of the Pismo Beach police report related to the case. According to the reporting officer, he arrived at about 11:30 the night of Oct. 11 after receiving a 911 call “regarding an intoxicated female who stated she was having seizures.”

The responding officer alleged that Hansen immediately began yelling at him, and was aggressive throughout her interactions with him and other officers. She reportedly yelled at an officer “to put his flashlight down because she had epilepsy” and the officer advised her that “his light was not flashing.” According to the police report, Hansen then attempted to stand up and was ordered to sit down, but she refused.

Soon after, Hansen was arrested after the officer “determined she was not able to care for her own safety or that of others.” Medical staff arrived but said they could not perform a medical clearance on site, and Hansen was transferred to Sierra Vista. While in the car, the reporting officer wrote that he was “attempting to gather the items from her pockets when she lifted her left leg and kicked me, striking the lower portion of my leg.”

At Sierra Vista, Hansen was allegedly uncooperative and hostile. The officer placed her in leg restraints and after she was medically cleared, Hansen was transferred to the San Luis Obispo County Jail. According to court records, Hansen was booked at 2:02 a.m. the following morning.

New Times requested video recordings at the San Luis Obispo County Jail for the night of Hansen's arrest (the request did not specify a case number or suspect name) and received the following response from Sheriff Ian Parkinson via Sheriff's Office Spokesman Tony Cipolla: "The Sheriff's Office has received no allegation of misconduct as it pertains to this alleged incident. Even so, we have taken it upon ourselves to begin an investigation into the matter. We will review all data and information and then make our determination."

A woman arrested Oct. 11 in Pismo Beach claims she was having a seizure and was assaulted by police who later charged her with resisting arrest.

Andrea Hansen, a 32-year-old resident of Grover Beach, took to social media and opened a GoFundMe page after she was arrested after having a “few drinks” and suffering a seizure. According to her account of events, which she posted online and was recounted in an article on the site Police State USA, she called 911 after suffering a seizure while alone on a beach.

Pismo Beach police officers arrived and arrested her, later alleging she assaulted them. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged Hansen with three misdemeanor counts of public intoxication, resisting arrest, and battery of an peace officer.

“Resisting arrest. Which makes sense, because I didn't understand why there were four cop cars, no medics and I was never told why I was being arrested,” she wrote online. “Battery against a peace officer. This is laughable. It's a misdemeanor, which means I didn't touch a single police officer, it was only because I was kicking my legs. Go figure—I was having seizures, we jerk around under stress!”

She was released from jail on $5,000 bail. If convicted, Hansen could face as many as 2 1/2 years in county jail. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Hansen's attorney, David Vogel, declined to comment on the case.

New Times has reached out to the Pismo Beach Police Department for comment but had not received a response as of this writing. We will update this article as more information becomes available.

Add a comment