Flooded business owner apologizes to officer that was trying to - WRBL

Flooded business owner apologizes to officer who tried to save her life

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) -

The flooded business owner who called out a Johnson City police officer for the way he handled Wednesday night's flood is now apologizing for the way she handled the situation.

"In retrospect I realize the policeman involved truly believed he was saving me from danger, and it was a very emotional and traumatic moment in which we both were defending what we thought to be right," Joy Powell said in a Facebook post. "I would like to apologize to both the Police Department, the individual policeman and his family for the way I handled my anger. It was wrong."

Powell shared her frustration last week after an officer stopped her from clearing debris from a storm drain outside Babies on Broadway. She said in her 13 years in business, every time it flooded she always cleared the nearby drain so that the flood waters could recede quickly. However, Wednesday night she said an officer treated her poorly when trying to get her away from that drain.

"He used very foul language," Powell said. "He told me to get the F across the street and I asked him not to speak to in me that language. I jerked away and I said, 'You can't touch me.' He told me if I did not come, he would grab me around the neck and drag me across the street."

Johnson City Police Chief Mark Sirois later commended his officer for the way he handled the situation. Concerned for the woman's safety, Sirois said the officer put on a life jacket and swam out to her. Sirois said the officer legitimately thought the woman's life was in danger, afraid the flood waters would loosen the storm drain and suck her into the sewer system.

Powell says she will not file a formal complaint against the officer in question.

"I think I was concerned for my business and he was concerned for me," Powell said. "I regret the way I handled it."

She says the Facebook post that spurred the attention on her situation backfired when people started posting personal things about her and the police officer.

Powell says the only good that has come of this is that it appears the city is now focusing more attention on Broadway Street.

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