Mother arrested after parking on grass at Cutler Bay elementary school
Parents say police pass out citations each day despite limited parking
CUTLER BAY, Fla. – A mother was arrested Wednesday after she parked her car on the grass outside Dr. Edward L. Wingham Elementary School in Cutler Bay.
Rita Guzman, 25, was arrested on a charge of resisting an officer without violence after she refused to comply with a Miami-Dade police officer's orders, an arrest report said.
According to the report, Guzman was parked in an area that was marked "no parking or standing."
Guzman said she was scared to sleep at home Thursday night.
"I can't believe it's me in that video," Guzman said. "It just wasn't necessary."
She's wearing splints on both wrists for sprains and her arms are bruised after allegedly being yanked from her car by a Miami-Dade police officer outside the elementary school while waiting to pick up her daughter Wednesday afternoon.
"I was on the phone, distracted, and the officer asked me to move. I was fine with that, but I didn't know where. Then it escalated, and he was really aggressive with me," Guzman said.
She was handcuffed and spent the night in jail.
"I slept in a cell. I was treated like a criminal," Guzman said.
A Local 10 News viewer and parent, whose child attends the school, said police have been handing out citations to parents every day, although there is limited parking availability for parents.
The woman said road work is being done in the area, and construction vehicles have been allowed to park on the school's grass.
"There is not enough parking here," another parent, Alex Montes, said. "And they put a whole bunch of no parking signs that were not here last year. Now what they do is wait for the parents every morning and every afternoon to give us tickets."
"I wish they would come up with a solution to the problem. We don't know where to park," said parent Daissy Santiago.
For Guzman, the parking problem turned into her worst nightmare.
"I just want people around her to feel safe, and I'm at a point where I don't feel safe in my own community. I don't feel safe taking my daughter to school," Guzman said. "Now, I'm just scared, and I'm terrified."
According to police, Guzman asked the officer, "Why are you being nasty?" and refused to hand him her driver's license.
Cellphone video from another parent shows Guzman being pulled out of her car by the officer.
The report said Guzman began to "rotate her body away" from the officer as he attempted to handcuff her.
She was then taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Guzman's ex-husband, Dante Silverio, told Local 10 News that Guzman spent the night in jail and had to go to the hospital, because she was "bruised up."
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