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Doctors remove woman’s arm after cops closed handcuffs too tight

By Mason White 11:49 AM January 3, 2014
Handcuffs illustration 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) A Pennsylvania mother of three lost her arm after a disorderly conduct charge.

Pittsburgh Police officers burst into the house of Amy Needham, 35, to execute an arrest warrant after she failed to appear in court.

Five sheriff’s deputies were at the house when Needham asked to go to the bathroom before they took her to the police station, but officers refused to allow her to do so.

They tasered Needham, grabbed her and put her in their vehicle.

“I think that the handcuffs were too tight,” her lawyer Marvin Leibowitz said.

When the woman reached jail her hand hurt badly. She repeatedly asked to be seen by a doctor, but was refused care.

The tight handcuffs caused the woman to suffer from compartment syndrome, which can lead to muscle and nerve damage, and problems with blood flow.

“She developed a septic shock. Doctors had to remove her arm to prevent her from dying,” Leibowitz said.

Now, the woman has filed a lawsuit. She is seeking $75,000 in damages.

Before this incident, Needham, who has three children between the ages of 5 and 9, worked at a restaurant.

With her prosthetic arm, it will be much harder for her to find a job to support her family.