Ex-Transit Officer Denies Assaulting Woman At MBTA Station

A former transit police officer pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges she assaulted a woman who asked the officer to stop being so aggressive to another woman at an MBTA station, then lied about the confrontation in her official report.

Prosecutors say Jennifer Garvey, 33, of Wilmington, knocked a cellphone out of the woman's hand as she called 911 to draw more police to the scene, doused her with pepper spray, and hit her with a baton at a Boston T station in March 2014. Surveillance video captured the confrontation.

Garvey entered the not guilty plea to charges of causing injury while violating a person's civil rights, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, and filing a false report.

Bail was set at $1,000 and her lawyer, Douglas Louison, predicted she would be acquitted. He said the case is not a criminal matter and "she plans on aggressively defending this case."

The woman, Mary Holmes, said she had asked Garvey to stop shoving and acting aggressively toward the other woman, who was intoxicated and had been taken off a bus. Holmes' injuries included burning eyes from the chemical spray, an open wound on her shin that required stitches, and bruising to her legs and ankles.

"We allege that the force used in this incident was unreasonable, unnecessary, and excessive, and that the reports as filed were deliberately false," Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said.

Prosecutors also say Garvey lied in her official report, writing that Holmes had repeatedly bumped into and then charged at her. Garvey was later fired.

Holmes initially was arrested and charged with assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but those charges were later dropped. She has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Garvey.



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