Denver City Council OKs $35,000 settlement for woman forgotten in cell while in Denver police custody

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A cell block or “pod” at the Douglas County jail. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The city will pay Victoria Ugalde $35,000 for arresting her, detaining her, and then forgetting about her for 13 hours as she sat handcuffed to a bench in a police station holding cell in January 2017.

Ugalde was riding in a car stopped by a Denver police officer who discovered she had a warrant for missing a court date in 2013, according to a report by Denver7. She had been cited for driving without a license.

Police locked up Ugalde at about 5 p.m., handcuffing her to a bench, out of reach of the tin toilet. A van that was supposed to transfer Ugalde to the jail never showed, and the prisoner was forgotten in the shuffle of a shift change.

Ugalde, who was not discovered until 6 a.m. the next morning, urinated on the floor out of desperation.

Officers are supposed to check on inmates and document it every 30 minutes, according to the report. The Denver Police Department suspended Officer Sean Kelly after the incident.

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