PUBLISHED 17:46 EST, 18 December 2012 | UPDATED: 06:15 EST, 19 December 2012
Two Texas women are suing after state troopers subjected them to a humiliating and invasive ‘roadside body cavity search’ that was caught on video.
Angel Dobbs, 38, and niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, were pulled over on State Highway 161 near Irving, Texas in a routine traffic stop.
Female trooper Kellie Helleson is seen in the footage aggressively searching the private body cavities– vaginal and anal– of Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, in front of passing cars.
The women, who claim the trooper used the same rubber glove for both of them, were initially stopped by Helleson’s colleague, Texas State Trooper David Farrell, after he saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out the window.
Nevertheless, Farrell requested the women be searched after allegedly claiming they were ‘acting weird.’
The lawsuit states he then tried to ‘morph this situation into a DWI investigation,’ according to the Dallas Morning News.
Angel Dobbs passed a roadside sobriety test and the women were given warnings for littering.
Angel Dobbs said Helleson irritated an anal cyst she suffers from during the search, causing her ‘severe and continuing pain and discomfort.’
The suit said: ‘Angel Dobbs was overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner.’
The two women are also suing the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw, who they claim ignored previous complaints about ‘unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like.’ In the video, Farrell is heard on the police radio notifying supervisors that he intends to search the women.
The Dobbs’ lawyer Scott H. Palmer said the shocking incident, which was filmed on one of the trooper’s dash-mounted cameras, was a roadside ‘sexual assault.’
He said the Texas Rangers investigated his clients’ complaints but failed to take any action against the troopers.
‘You can see what’s happening clearly,’ he told the Dallas Morning News of the video. ‘No one’s ever seen the likes of this. We can’t let them get away with it.’