Inland Empire News
Beaumont officer indicted for blinding woman with pepper-spray gun in DUI stop
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Beaumont police officer was indicted by a grand jury last Thursday for a use-of-force incident that occurred on Feb. 21. The officer was formally indicted Thursday morning. He pleaded not guilty.
According to the indictment, Officer Enoch Clark was on duty on Feb. 21 and was investigating a possible driving under the influence incident.
Clark was attempting to handcuff a female suspect and an altercation developed between the two. According to the indictment, Clark pulled out a less-than-lethal device issued by the Beaumont Police Department called a JPX.
The JPX uses gunpowder to propel a stream of pepper-spray at a speed of more than 400 mph. The optimum distance to deploy the device is between 6 and 16 feet, with a minimum distance of 5 feet. Clark allegedly deployed the device 10 inches from the woman's face. The woman's eyes were severely injured, and medical reports indicate it is doubtful the woman will see again.
The Beaumont Police Dept. requested an incident investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. The results of the investigation were forwarded to the district attorney's office, and the case was brought to a grand jury made up of 19 members of the community.
After reviewing evidence and testimony, the grand jury returned four criminal counts against Clark: assault under the color or authority; assault with a less lethal weapon; use of force causing serious bodily injury; and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. There is also an enhancement that he personally inflicted great bodily injury.
The investigation showed that Clark had been trained on the proper use of the device and the dangers of using the device at a distance of less than 5 feet.
The Riverside County District Attorney's Office said Clark was arraigned Thursday.
Clark has been placed on administrative leave.
[Photo courtesy: Tom Bray, Press Enterprise]
inland empire news
- Reseda shooting: 1 dead, 1 injured, 1 arrested
- Tour bus crash in Corona: 91-yr-old man dies
- Target probe focuses on processing centers
- Woman gives $500 to friend who's a single mom
- Pope's message to end hunger hits home in IE
- Slain chase suspect's family files $20M claim
- Fallbrook tour bus crash: Victim identified
- Judge orders hospital to keep girl on support
- Helicopter gunships used in MX resort battle
- abcnews: One of Van Gogh's last paintings unveiled
- San Jose company recalls sausage products
- Jewelry shopping tips: How to avoid rip-offs
- Ned Vizzini, popular author, dies at age 32
- OTRC: Beyonce kisses Madonna's daughter (Photo)