(NaturalNews) A Kentucky police officer who was sprayed with breast milk while attempting to restrain a suspect reported the milk as a "biohazard" and charged the lactating woman with assault.
On March 4, 31-year-old Toni Tramel was arrested for public drunkenness and taken to the Daviess County Detention Center in Owensboro. Officer Lula Brown reports that she instructed Tramel to change into a jail uniform, but that Tramel was "too intoxicated to complete the task on her own."
Brown instructed Tramel that she "needed to take her shirt and bra off," at which point, according to the police officer, Tramel "took off her bra, grabbed her breast and squirted breast milk, hitting me in the face and neck region."
The officer then forced Tramel against the wall and requested a smock from other jail personnel.
"Inmate Toni Tramel attempted to squirt breast milk again but was unsuccessful," Brown reported.
Brown's report and a police department press release both note that after the incident, Brown was able to "clean the bio-hazard off her."
In addition to public drunkenness, a misdemeanor, Tramel was then charged with third-degree assault, a felony, and is being held on $10,000 bond.
The police use of the term "biohazard" to describe breast milk has sparked a furor, with bloggers and commentators questioning whether the severity of the assault charges truly corresponds to the alleged offense. Other commentators have questioned the police account that Tramel squirted Brown deliberately, noting that it is not uncommon for milk to squirt from lactating women's breasts by accident, sometimes reaching across long distances.
"While lactating I have had breast milk 'squirt' out of my breast in a stream that hit clothes hanging in my closet while trying to find something to wear," one anonymous Web poster said. "It could have been an accident."