Scottsdale resident Katie Hare alleges she was wrongfully arrested by Scottsdale Police after an altercation earlier this year with a construction foreman at the downtown waterfront apartment community where she used to live.
Now, she says, “I wish we had never moved” to Scottsdale.”
Hare also alleged police officers on scene failed to follow up on her allegations the foreman assaulted her during the dispute.
Hare, a former resident of the Broadstone Waterfront apartments who moved to Scottsdale in 2015, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing following the April 22 incident, court records show.
On Nov. 13, Scottsdale City Court Judge James Blake acquitted Hare of disorderly conduct but guilty of third-degree criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and a fine of up to $500. Hare will be sentenced Dec. 5.
The incident, sparked by early morning construction, resulted in a dispute between Hare and construction foreman Adam Michael Leighton, who was working on what is now the Prep & Pastry restaurant on the apartment building’s first floor.
Though neither party disputes the altercation occurred, their accounts differ significantly.
Hare said she did nothing wrong and Leighton assaulted her when she confronted him about starting construction too early.
Leighton denied in court assaulting Hare and admitted to shoving her to remove her from the active construction site when she refused to leave.
In court, Hare testified she was woken up by construction activity she said, caused her fourth-floor apartment to shake before 7 a.m.
Though other residents with units closer to the construction had complained about noise for months, but Hare said this was the first time she had a significant issue in her unit.
Saying she thought there was an emergency, Hare said she ran downstairs to check if a fire truck was on-site and planned to return upstairs to help her fiancée, who has a medical condition, evacuate.
In court, City Prosecutor Jared Johnson argued Hare only came downstairs to confront workers and her contention she thought it was an emergency was “a construction for trial.”
Upon reaching the ground level, Hare said she realized it was not an emergency and saw a worker drilling into concrete.
Hare said apartment management told residents “drilling into the deck” would not occur before 9 a.m.
Leighton testified his crew was allowed to start at 6 a.m. under city law but management asked them to start at 7 a.m. and not begin work on the ceiling until 9 a.m.
An email from apartment management to residents a week after the incident stated, “Also, to ease some of the noise issues, there will be no drilling into the deck until after 9 a.m.”
Leighton testified on April 22 his crew “started making noise” around 7 a.m.
Hare testified she entered the site and contacted the worker, who then retrieved Leighton, the project’s manager.
The parties disagree about what happened next.
According to Leighton’s court testimony, Hare was behaving aggressively and “screaming profanities,” which “cleared out” the job site.
However, Hare, who was wearing only a bathrobe at the time, said Leighton immediately yelled at her and shoved her in her chest and grabbed her arm to remove her.
Leighton testified in court Hare grabbed him first and “that’s when I grabbed both of her shoulders and moved her back forcefully and shut the door real quick.”
A Broadstone employee who testified in court said he saw Leighton grab Hare’s arm and use it to push her out the door. He said he did not see Hare slap Leighton.
Hare said she considered the actions assault and planned on reporting the incident to police at the time. However, she alleged police never gave her the opportunity to do so.
“I mean they weren’t really listening to what I was saying and every time I was talking they kept saying ‘you need to calm down, you need to calm down’ so it was kind of hard for me to get what I had to say out,” Hare testified.
Scottsdale Police Department denied failing to take Hare’s statement.
“The officers in this matter made a probable cause determination based upon statements from all parties involved, including the site superintendent, other workers who witnessed the trespass and the defendant herself,” according to a statement from Scottsdale Police.
Body camera footage from responding officers Michael Hertko and Stephen Montemayor shown in court showed officers repeatedly interrupted Hare as tried to explain what had occurred.
Hertko spoke with Leighton first and then with Hare.
Hertko’s first words to Hare are “Calm down; it’s Monday morning and this is ridiculous,” according to body camera footage.
Hertko later repeatedly tells Hare she was in the wrong and handled the situation “the wrong way.” He advised Hare she should have gone through the apartment’s management.
“I know it doesn’t make me look good, but I was upset…and I was asking him to take a report and they were just giving me this ‘Well, you know, why don’t you dial back the Monday morning drama?’” Hare said.
Hertko testified he believed Hare’s conduct was “unreasonable,” which led to the arrest.
Hare said she also asked police to look at footage from a nearby security camera to determine who was telling the truth.
However, there is no evidence Hertko, Montemayor or any other officer attempted to obtain the footage. Whether or not the footage actually exists is unknown.
Hare said her attorney attempted to retrieve the footage from Broadstone Waterfront management and was told the cameras were not functioning.
Alliance Residential, which owns the Broadstone Waterfront apartments, did not respond to a request for comment.
Without the camera footage, Hertko and Montemayor made the judgment that whatever force Leighton used to remove Hare from the construction site was reasonable and allowable under state law.
“I believe wholeheartedly if I were a man, he would’ve never done that,” Hare said. “He did it to me because I was small. I’m half his size and he thought he could.”
Leighton disagreed, testifying in court he only pushed Hare out of the building after she grabbed and slapped him first.
Hare denied ever hitting Leighton.
Multiple times during the trial and in body camera footage, Hertko referred to Leighton’s use of force as reasonable.
“Ms. Hare’s claim that she was assaulted simply because she was physically removed from the site is refuted by Arizona Revised Statute 13-407, which justifies the use of physical force in defense of any real property to prevent or terminate a criminal or trespass. She admitted she entered the site and refused to leave after being asked,” according to the Scottsdale Police statement.
A spokesperson for the department said the department uses the “reasonable person standard” under Arizona law to determine if force is reasonable.
“The question for officers then becomes, ‘“What would a reasonable person do under similar circumstances and would those actions be lawful?”’ the spokesperson said.
“Ms. Hare admitted during her contact with officers the force used upon her by the superintendent occurred in the context of his attempt to get her to leave the site. She did not report being pushed on her breasts to officers. She was argumentative throughout the contact and her primary issue appeared to be the fact she was physically removed which, despite her assertions, does not constitute assault,” according to a department statement.
Both sides acknowledged Hare entered the site that morning, though Hare’s attorney argued she did so only to contact the construction worker who could not hear her from outside of the building and that the area has no “No Trespassing” signs.
Hare said the April 22 incident has significantly disrupted her life, including forcing her to postpone her wedding to her fiancé, originally planned for October, due to mounting legal bills and the cost to move.
Hare said she moved out of Broadstone Waterfront shortly after the incident under threat of eviction from Alliance Residential.
Hare said the situation surprised her because she and her fiancée had paid over $200,000 in rent over the previous four years and she tries to be a contributing member of society. Hare previously volunteered for YMCA fundraisers and the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation.