On February 3, 2020, the Borough of Oaklyn (Camden County, NJ) agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a Collingswood woman who claimed that Borough cops sicced a police dog on her after chasing her home because she parked incorrectly in a 7-Eleven parking lot.
In her lawsuit, Natalie Diaz said that in the early evening of February 2, 2016, she went to the 7-Eleven in Oaklyn to purchase a cup of coffee. After seeing that there were no parking spaces, “she parked her car by one of the exits to the parking lot” with her engine running and lights on. When she exited the store “a few minutes” later, several people, including Oaklyn Police Officer Jayne Jones, “were yelling at her to move her car.”
Diaz said that she drove away from the 7-Eleven toward her home and that Jones pursued her. When she arrived at her Collingswood apartment complex, Jones approached her and yelled at her to get out of her car. Diaz, who claimed that she was “frightened and disoriented”, did not immediately comply which caused Jones to grab her with the intent of dragging her out of the car.
According to the suit, Officer Matthew Olivieri arrived with Enzo, a police canine. Olivieri allegedly released Enzo while Diaz was sitting in her parked car with the door open. Enzo allegedly attached Diaz “tearing holes into her clothing and ripping her leg open.” Diaz said that she was then “forced face down on the concrete, handcuffed and placed under arrest.”