Texas Woman Sues Police Alleging She Was Cuffed On Fire Ant Pile During Arrest

A Texas mother has filed a lawsuit claiming that Santa Fe ISD Police Department officers held her down on a pile of fire ants while arresting her for a traffic violation in 2021, resulting in numerous painful bites across her face, neck and chest. Taylor Rogers alleges that the officers twisted her leg, hog-tied her and pressed her face into a colony of fire ants as they handcuffed her.

“Taylor Rogers was stopped by Santa Fe police for no reason thrown on the ground right into a bed of fire ants in the middle of the day and then held there while screaming” civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen said at a news conference on Saturday. Dramatic police bodycam footage from the arrest shows Rogers pleading with the officers as she experiences the ant bites.

“This is cutting my circulation off and ants are on my face” Rogers can be heard saying before crying out in pain. “Ants are getting on my face. Please. How can y’all do this? Ants are on my face! Please let go!”

Rogers claims she could not swat the insects away because she was handcuffed and says the police did not assist her in removing the ants. Images of the aftermath show countless fire ant bite marks across her face neck chest and shoulders, which her attorney called tantamount to “torture.”

Santa Fe ISD Police Chief Ruben Espinoza, one of the officers in the lawsuit, disputed Rogers’ claims, stating that images from the arrest showed no signs of fire ants on the grass. He added that the bodycam video shared by Rogers’ attorney was misleading and omitted the part where officers helped lift her off the ground after she agreed to calm down.

Espinoza told local outlet KHOU 11 that Rogers was treated with “respect and dignity” throughout the arrest. Following the incident, Rogers pleaded guilty to charges related to fleeing from police but maintains that she drove away from Espinoza after he allegedly banged on her car and pointed a gun at her, causing her to panic.

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