ASBURY PARK - The mom of a little girl grazed by a bullet during a police shootout is paving the way for a lawsuit against the city of Asbury Park and a police officer.
In her first television interview, 8-year-old Cassie Jones says she's traumatized with headaches and nightmares since a bullet grazed her forehead.
"I have bad dreams about a bad wolf," says Cassie.
Her mom, who shares the same name, says both her daughters refuse to sleep in that bedroom after a bullet from crossfire between an officer and a suspect outside their home pierced their wall back in November. The bullet struck Cassie as the three sat on the bed watching TV.
Cassie says kids at school make fun of her scar. Her mom says the Asbury Park Police Department and two-year Officer Terrence McGhee were negligent and reckless. She says they are responsible for her daughter's stress.
"They act like it was just OK – ‘Excuse me for the accident, I stepped on your toe,’” says Jones. “It wasn't her toe. It was her forehead."
She also says it was the officer's inexperience that led him to fire multiple shots into her neighborhood.
"That's a big mistake,” says Jones. “That's not a simple situation. She could have moved a little more and she wouldn't be standing here with us."
The family's attorney says they filed court papers informing the city and the officer of their intent to sue.
The city manager and the police chief had no comment.
Authorities have exonerated the officer for repeatedly firing his weapon in the shootout, calling it "justified."
Tests done on the bullet that grazed Cassie came back inconclusive from the state police lab. Experts there say they were unable to determine who fired that particular bullet.