Woman complains about officer's behavior during traffic stop

Woman complains about officer's behavior during traffic stop »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Bakersfield woman claims she was unfairly scolded by a California Highway Patrol officer after she drove 3 miles during a traffic stop to find a well-lit area before coming to a stop.

Laura Aguilar described Tuesday how Sunday’s journey home took an unexpected turn.

Aguilar said an officer tried pulling her over on Highway 58. She said she slowed down but didn't stop, because she felt the rural location was not safe.

“I tried to explain to the officer that I tried to call a number I had seen online that I was going to stop. He told me I needed to pull over as soon as I saw lights, not whenever I wanted to,” the woman said.

At that point, Aguilar said she was patted down, handcuffed and placed in the front seat of the patrol car.

She said a second patrol car arrived, and, 30 minutes later, she was issued a ticket for speeding and released.

Officer Robert Rodriguez, a CHP spokesman, was not familiar with this case specifically, but he did explain the rules regarding traffic stops in dark, isolated areas.

“If they feel unsafe or have a question if it's a real officer behind me, and it’s dark out, emergency flashers, acknowledge, reduce their speed, and yield in a safe location, preferably a lit area,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez's said there is no specific limit on the distance you can drive to a well-lit area, but he advise drivers to call 911.

“Get on your phone, and call 911," Rodriguez said. "Our dispatcher can then tell them you are being stopped by a Highway Patrol officer."