The Beaumont Police Department is currently investigating the recent arrest of a Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) employee working at South Park Middle School. According to incident reports provided by the BPD, South Park Middle School clerk Ashley Bowden was arrested on multiple charges after a police pursuit May 23.
According to BPD Sgt. Rob Flores, Officer Joshua Jackson reported Bowden was driving at a high rate of speed when he signaled with his overhead lights, indicating she should stop. The officer reported that the suspect continued to drive and made a couple of turns as he followed her. Once the woman finally stopped in the 200 block of East Alma Street in Beaumont, she allegedly exited the vehicle and approached the officer in a “belligerent” manner, Flores said. At that point, police said, Bowden went back to the car and proceeded to open the door to the backseat. The officer reported that because he was unsure of why she was reaching into the back of the car and because she was not following his instructions, he feared for his safety and took her to the ground to restrain her, placing her in handcuffs. Flores said at that point, the officer observed an unsecured child lying across the back seat of the vehicle.
At the time of the incident, Bowden was arrested for resisting arrest/search, failure to identify, reckless driving and endangering a child. That last charge was reduced to driving with an unsecured child.
The recent arrest was Bowden’s second. A database search uncovered a drug-related arrest on Feb. 21, 2011. Bowden pleaded “no contest” to Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana charges. She paid a $200 fine and received six months deferred adjudication probation, which she completed without further incident, according to the database.
Bowden said she intends to contest the May 23 arrest and pending charges associated. In a phone interview, she said she has hired an attorney and has video of the incident that she feels exonerates her and proves she was the victim of “police brutality.”
“Y’all don’t even know the case. It’s an accusation,” Bowden said. “I do have a case, but I am not able to talk about it until further investigation. The investigation is open. I don’t have the video turned in, and I don’t have my witnesses turned in… That’s not right.”
Police are still investigating.
Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com.