KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Brittany Simek's life changed forever the night of Aug. 8, 2019, and now a Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputy faces assault and armed criminal action charges after an investigation into the incident.
"She may recover from the physical injuries," David Smith, one of the attorneys representing her in a civil case, said. "She'll never recover from the emotional injuries. She's shattered."
Simek, 26, was riding on the back of a Bird scooter being driven by a friend around 10:45 p.m.. Near East 37th and Main streets, a Jackson County Sheriff's deputy spotted them driving down the wrong side of the street.
When Simek and her friend failed to stop, court documents indicate that the deputy pulled into a parking lot in front of the scooter, colliding with the patrol vehicle. The deputy arrested Simek's friend.
"She was freaked out about what was going on, didn't know if she should videotape what was happening there or just take off," Mike Yonke, another attorney on Simek's case, said.
She decided to take off and had an encounter 30 minutes later with Jackson County Deputy Lauren Michael.
Initially, Michael said she tased Simek in the stomach and a fight ensued, according to court records.
The deputy claimed Simek eventually gained control of the taser and used it against her, according to documents released by the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office. Michael said she was afraid Simek would also gain control of her weapon, so she fired three to four shots.
During an ensuing investigation, it was determined that the taser cartridges were deployed within three seconds of each other, according to a probable cause statement.
Investigators wrote that such a limited amount of time "does not support" Michael's claim she tased Simek, the two fought and Simek then tased her.
Bullet damage to cars on the street also supported Simek's version of events — that she was shot in the back while running away.
"She was afraid for her life from this woman," Smith said of Simek's reaction to Michael. "She was crazy."
Four hollow-point bullets struck Simek, leaving "very large holes" in her back and buttocks, according to her attorneys.
Simek's attorneys want to see Michael, who was charged Wednesday with assault and armed criminal action, off the sheriff's force and behind bars.
"Only a coward shoots a woman in the back and then lies about it," Smith said, "That's what happened here. She needs to go down."
Simek, a Leavenworth native, is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and spent time on the University of Kansas rowing team.