N.J. woman arrested on St. Thomas after pulling police officer's hair, scratching her face

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ST. THOMAS - A New Jersey woman was jailed early Thursday morning after police said she pulled a police officer's hair and scratched her face.

Ritika Mehta, 31, was arrested at 2 a.m. Thursday and charged with aggravated assault and battery of a police officer. Her bail was set at $25,000.

V.I. Police Officer Kira Browne responded to another officer's request for assistance with a drunken couple fighting near "Quiet Mon Pub" in Cruz Bay, St. John, according to the probable cause fact sheet.

When Browne arrived, Mehta, of New Jersey, had been fighting with her husband, and Browne tried to keep them separated. One of the bar employees said that they tried to settle the couple down, but the couple started arguing with the employee, Browne wrote.

When the other officer tried calling a taxi to take the couple back to their hotel, the couple started cursing at the taxi driver, who then refused to drive the couple, according to the probable cause fact sheet.

Another officer arrived on the scene and offered to drive the couple to the hotel, but instead ended up taking them to the police station, though it was not stated why the officer changed his or her mind.

Browne, who had just arrived back at the station, saw the officer having trouble trying to get the couple to get out of the police vehicle, so she tried to help, Browne wrote. When she did, Mehta grabbed onto the caging on the inside of the vehicle until she let go and then grabbed Browne's hair and shirt, and then scratched Browne's face.

Mehta has no criminal record to the knowledge of the V.I. Police Department, according to court documents.

Mehta appeared in V.I. Superior Court on Thursday for her advice of rights hearing.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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