A 70-year-old Utah woman, who was arrested last week for refusing to accept a ticket for a dry lawn she couldn't afford to water, told FOX News Monday that the arrest was her "worst nightmare."
Betty Perry, of Orem, Utah, was arrested Friday after police tried to ticket her for her brown, sickly lawn.
"It was horrible," Perry told FOX News, describing her arrest. "It was like your worst nightmare."
The police officer who arrested her has been suspended by his red-faced bosses.
"Life is a learning experience, and each officer learns over the course of a career that tactics and responses are not absolute in each situation," said Lt. Doug Edwards, a spokesman for Orem police.
When the officer knocked on Perry's door, she refused to identify herself or accept a citation and said she wanted to call her son.
As the officer tried to take her hand, Perry tripped on the front step, cut the bridge of her nose and rolled onto her stomach, putting her hands under her to foil the officer, Edwards said.
Perry was eventually handcuffed and taken to jail, where she spent more than an hour before officials decided custody was inappropriate.
The woman hasn't watered her lawn in a year, a violation of a city ordinance, Edwards said.
"I've never been attacked before like that," Perry told KSL-TV. "I can't afford to turn my water on for $50 a month. ... I just hope he can apologize and this can all be forgotten."
The officer's name was not released. Orem is in Utah County, 30 miles south of Salt Lake City.
"There were other options available to handle this situation besides making an arrest and holding the woman in jail," Edwards said.
"Certainly had the woman been a shoplifter at the mall who refused to identify herself, no one would question or be surprised that she was arrested and handcuffed, regardless of her age," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.