(NewsNation) — A Pennsylvania woman is suing Hertz after she says she is mentally and emotionally damaged after the rental car giant wrongfully arrested and accused her of stealing the car she rented. She is one of the hundreds suing the rental car giant over similar situations.
NewsNation previously reported on the nightmare situations that led customers to sue Hertz last year. At least 200 customers were suing the rental car giant for mental and emotional damages after they say they were falsely arrested, and even jailed after Hertz filed police reports saying the cars they rented were stolen. In June, NewsNation’s Rich McHugh confirmed Hertz was offering customers settlements.
A single mother of three, Saleema Lovelace is now another person filing a lawsuit against the rental car company after she claims she was arrested.
NewsNation exclusively obtained body camera footage of Lovelace’s Jan. 2021 arrest. Lovelace can be heard telling police she extended the rental and paid for it days earlier as she begs them to look for proof on her phone. Lovelace is distraught as she pleads with officers to let her go so she can pick up her 11-year-old daughter.
“I have never in my life been arrested,” Lovelace told McHugh. “I have never in my life been in that type of predicament before. I was extremely confused, emotional, crying, and just didn’t understand what was going on.”
Lovelace had rented the car from Dollar Rent A Car, which is owned by Hertz. The receipt shows Lovelace paid more than $3,900, the full balance due on January 12. And yet, she was arrested the very next day and charged with felony receiving stolen property.
“I felt like I was attacked. I still have the same mark on my arm right here, where they handcuffed me and had the cuffs on me really tight,” Lovelace said. “To experience something like that, and especially as a woman and a black woman with all white cops throwing you around with guns out like I’m a criminal, and it wasn’t even a stolen vehicle.”
Now Lovelace is suing Hertz in Pennsylvania civil court for false arrest and for mental and emotional damages. Her attorney, Francis Alexander Malofiy, has demanded that Hertz rescind the police report as well.
“Because the CEO went on national network news saying that yes, they have a problem and they have the ability to rescind police reports,” Malofiy told NewsNation. “Yet when I sent him a letter addressing Saleema Lovelace’s case as well as 40 others of pending prosecutions, demanding that the CEO rescind the police reports, he did nothing at all.”
Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr previously promised to “do right” by customers who have been treated unfairly in a February interview with Bloomberg TV, and admitted publicly for the first time that some were wrongly arrested.
In a recent statement to NewsNation, Hertz reiterated that it cares deeply about its customers.
“While we will remain steadfast in our commitment to defend the company’s interests against those that intend to harm we also want to do right by our customers,” Hertz said.
Lovelace said her life is changed after the alleged false arrest.
“Do right and at least this agony that I’m going through so that I can live a normal life,” Lovelace said. “Again, I’ve never been in trouble before. I’ve never been arrested. I have no prior arrests in my life. So why am I walking around with a felony on my record, when I rented a car, I didn’t steal a vehicle.”