Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I wondered if it was her...

This morning, I was reading a news article about a 31 year old woman from Hampton, Virginia who is bringing a $1 million federal lawsuit against the city of Poquoson's police department.  She is accusing a Poquoson police officer of "roughing her up" during an arrest in 2015.  When I read the woman's name, Amanda Nicole Bromwell, and noticed her age, I was reminded of a girl I knew back in 1986.  I was in ninth grade.

Her name was Susan and she had just moved to Gloucester County.  She had black hair and a slight build.  I sat next to her in Algebra 1 Part 1, a class I was retaking voluntarily because I'd barely passed it in the eighth grade.  Susan was a year ahead of me.  She was also a teen mother.  In 1986, she had a baby daughter named Amanda Nicole.

I don't know why I thought of Susan as I read that story.  I just remember her being a bit rough around the edges and telling me that she was a teen mother.  I remember she spoke of her daughter, Amanda Nicole, with pride.  As I listened to her talk, I was amazed that someone so young could be a mother.  Little did I know that on my graduation day, at least three of my classmates would be visibly pregnant.

I doubt the woman suing the police officer in Poquoson is the same Amanda.  For one thing, it's not like there aren't a lot of women born in 1986 with the name Amanda Nicole.  For another, I'm pretty sure I didn't see Susan again after that year.  The population in the Tidewater area is constantly in flux due to the high number of military folks living there.  But for some reason, I thought of Susan and wondered if this woman in the news was her daughter.

If this Amanda Nicole is Susan's kid, it looks like she has a lot of personal problems.  Apparently, she has a long rap sheet of offenses ranging from public intoxication to assaulting a police officer in different cities within the Hampton Roads area.  In her lawsuit, Bromwell alleges that Poquoson police officer Joshua Pankoke used excessive force when he was arresting her at a trailer park on June 12, 2015.

Bromwell, who was drunk at the time of her arrest, was arguing with a male resident of the trailer.  He had locked her out while her purse was still inside.  Someone called the police and Pankoke arrested Bromwell for being drunk in public.  Bromwell was barefoot and wearing a short sundress as she was being arrested.  She was also mouthing off at Officer Pankoke, who had inadvertently locked himself out of his police car.  He had tried to open the car door while Bromwell was in handcuffs, but it was locked.

Bromwell claims that she slipped while lying on the hood of Pankoke's car and that he then slammed her to the ground for no reason.  However, another account has Bromwell trying to kick Officer Pankoke, who responded by sweeping her leg.  Bromwell hit the pavement and was injured.  She was taken to the hospital and alleges that she still suffers pain related to the arrest incident to this day.  However, that incident in 2015 was neither the first nor the last time Bromwell has been arrested for offenses related to her apparently chronic abuse of alcohol.

While I think it's entirely likely that Amanda Nicole Bromwell was injured during her arrest, it seems to me that she would not have been hurt if she hadn't--1.) been drunk off her ass and disorderly.  2.) been arrested for being drunk and disorderly.  3.) tried to resist arrest.  I have no idea what Ms. Bromwell's personal demons are that cause her to drink so much that she has these repeated problems with law enforcement, but it does seem to me that she's in dire need of rehab.  Also, I have real doubts that her lawsuit will amount to anything.

Anyway, it always amazes me what will cause me to have a memory flashback.  I haven't seen my old classmate Susan in over thirty years and I don't even know if she stayed in Virginia beyond that brief time we had a class together.  For some reason, I am easily reminded of obscure things from my past. I doubt this Amanda Nicole is the same as Susan's Amanda Nicole, but it was interesting to read about this stuff just the same.


  1. My mom said in her graduating class of about 250, there were three obviously pregnant girls at graduation. One had married her husband more than a year before, and the other two were unwed. There ware no obviously pregnant girls in my graduating class. I don't know how much of the discrepancy is due to my high school being in an area with a more educated population than was my mom's high school, or due to the greater accessibility of contraceptives. Roe vs. Wade was before my mom graduated, so abortion shouldn't have been much of a factor.

    Now I'm curious about Amanda Nicole.

    1. Me too. I tried to track Susan down, but was unsuccessful.


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