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Former teacher claims excessive force used by police officer and K9

Ashley Zuress was arrested last March after police stopped her and her boyfriend for a traffic violation and her boyfriend ran from the car. (WSYX/WTTE)

A former teacher filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Newark and police officer who handled a K9 that bit her last spring.

Ashley Zuress was arrested last March after police stopped her and her boyfriend for a traffic violation and her boyfriend ran from the car. Zuress said no officer approached her so she thought it was okay to slide into the driver's seat and head home. Officers stopped her car once again, gave her commands to get out of the car and walk backwards to them. However, officers are heard on dash cam saying she was not complying. That's when the k9 officer is brought to her car. Seconds later, the dog is seen biting Zuress's arm repeatedly as she was taken to the ground.

"I felt like from that video, everything in my life was over," Zuress told ABC 6/FOX 28. "I have an ugly scar on my arm that can't go away. It can't be fixed."

Zuress says she lost her teaching job at a Columbus charter school after her arrest and needed more than a dozen staples in her arm. More than a year later, she says she still has limited mobility.

Zuress filed the suit as she says she posed no threat to officers when she was taken down and bitten. She claims she is the victim of excessive force.

ABC 6/FOX 28 contacted the Newark Police Department and City Law Director's Office for a response. They have yet to provide a comment.

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