What started as a traffic stop for a car’s passenger standing up through the sunroof escalated into a series of viral videos that shows the arrest of a belligerent HSU student.
Following the arrest of the juvenile who was hanging out of the car on charges including suspicion of providing false identification to a peace officer, public intoxication, and battery on a peace officer, another passenger began yelling at a female police officer who was asking her questions.
As the video shows, 20-year-old Samantha Alonso Luna was yelling at and being combative with HSU officer Janelle Jackson before Jackson decided to place Alonso Luna under arrest. Alonso Luna resisted, at one point clearly grabbing Officer Jackson’s hair, before other officers aided her and arrested Aonso Luna.
In subsequent videos she posted to social media, Alonso Luna is clearly seen kicking, hitting and grabbing arresting officers, as well as not letting go of Officer Jackon’s hair.
Alonso Luna was charged with suspicion of resisting arrest, battery on a peace officer, public intoxication, and providing false identification to a police officer.
However, Alonso Luna’s memory of the incident seems to differ greatly from what’ seen in the videos. In her Facebook posts about the videos, she wrote:
“This is a video of me getting arrested yesterday at Oyster Fest by a white female cop FOR NO REASON. She pulled us over for my friend sticking her head out of the sun roof. I am not saying that was ok. BUT WE were NOT BEING RUDE, WE WERE NOT “INTOXICATED IN A PUBLIC PLACE”, we were Passengers in A CAR. Not harming anyone. She arrested my friend first and when I asked what information we needed to get her out this is how she reacted. She told me I was lying about my name. How is it they need 4 grown male cops on ONE female who weighs less than 120 pounds. It’s time for a new system. I’m a law student and this is why. People told me I should have just [not] resisted. The reason this happens is because people would RATHER CONFORM THAN STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES. She had no need to act so unprofessional. She was seeking a reaction out of me when she should have been deescalating the situation. I REFUSE to let MY future be destroyed over a traffic stop. Please do not let this go unnoticed.”
HSUPD also put out a statement following the viral video posts:
On Saturday, June 16, the Humboldt State University Police Department was working a multi-agency operation targeting alcohol violations. In conjunction with this operation, two arrests were made off campus at 9th and F streets in Arcata. The University is looking into circumstances surrounding these arrests, as well as videos that have been shared.
University Police officers made a traffic stop at 8:21 p.m., after seeing the passenger of a vehicle hanging dangerously out of the sunroof. That person, a juvenile, was arrested on suspicion of providing false identification to a peace officer, public intoxication, and battery on a peace officer.
Following that arrest, another passenger in the vehicle, Samantha Alonso Luna, was arrested following an altercation with a UPD officer. Alonso Luna was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, battery on a peace officer, public intoxication, and providing false identification to a police officer.
HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and UPD Chief Donn Peterson are aware of the incident, and have reviewed video of the arrest. Peterson says that there was reasonable cause to conduct the initial stop and investigate the alcohol violations that were subsequently observed. All video relating the incident is being reviewed and there will be a transparent and independent review of the arrest as well as a full internal review.
“We take underage drinking very seriously,” Peterson says. “The stop and what occurred afterwards will be thoroughly reviewed by the District Attorney.”
“I have seen the video of this arrest, and I have confidence that Chief Peterson and our University Police will conduct a thorough review,” says Rossbacher. “The external review will give our University community the opportunity to understand this incident in a full and fair light.”
Alonso Luna is not an HSU student. The name of the other arrestee is being withheld because the person is a minor.
UPD regularly assists enforcement relating to underage drinking, as well as to keep vendors and establishments in compliance with laws that restrict providing alcohol to minors.