PROBE CALL: Roberta Ryan with daughter Tori Harrigan, who claims she was manhandled by police, display a photo of the broken tooth.
PROBE CALL: Roberta Ryan with daughter Tori Harrigan, who claims she was manhandled by police, display a photo of the broken tooth. Geoff Potter

Teen tells of 'lock up' terror at police station

A SUNSHINE Coast mother is demanding an investigation into claims police handcuffed and manhandled her teenage daughter before locking her in a cell for the night.

Tori Harrigan says she also had her hair pulled and was pushed face-first into a paddy wagon, breaking one of her front teeth in half.

The 18-year-old had been disoriented and scared after becoming lost while walking to her Sunshine Beach unit in the early hours of Friday morning. A resident heard her crying and tried to help, before phoning police.

Tori's mother, Roberta Ryan, said that was when things took a nasty turn.

"The police turned up, she's not looking good, she's been walking around and crying, they just took one look at her and said, 'You're p****d, you're coming with us'," Ms Ryan said.

"They pushed her into the van, and holding her arms and her hair, pushed her face first, which resulted in her smacking her mouth on the floor and breaking her tooth.

"Then they locked her up in the watchhouse with no blanket, no medical and no chance to call anyone.

"She was hysterical and the more she cried, the more they laughed at her," Ms Ryan said.

She said when her daughter was allowed to leave the watchhouse at 9am Friday - 33km from home and with no transportation - a police officer tossed a plastic bag containing half her tooth at her, saying, "Here, you left this in the back of the van."

Ms Harrigan, who turned 18 only recently, said she feared for her life.

"I only had a couple of drinks, so I know I wasn't being irrational. They just threw me in the van," she said.

"I thought they were going to help me but now I'm terrified and so traumatised by everything. I just don't feel safe any more."

Police tell a different story, with a spokesman claiming officers attended Cooyar St in Sunshine Beach after receiving reports of a young woman "jumping into the path of cars".

"On arrival, in a marked police vehicle, they located the woman who appeared to be in an agitated state," the spokesman said.

"It is alleged that she began to scream and lash out while in the police vehicle."

Ms Harrigan admitted kicking inside the van but said she had been handcuffed and was terrified.

The teen has been charged with public nuisance.

Ms Ryan said she had reported the matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

The family has paid $1000 to have Ms Harrigan's broken tooth fixed.

There is still a chance she will lose it because of the delay in treatment.

Ms Ryan said she would be demanding to see CCTV footage from the police watchhouse and hoped the Good Samaritan who called police would also make contact through the Daily.

Were you the Sunshine Beach resident who helped Tori? Contact the Daily on 5430 8081.


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