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Beaumont officer arraigned for allegedly blinding woman with pepper spray gun

JPX Jet Protector website

The Piexon JPX Jet Protector is intended to be used at distances of five feet or more.

A Riverside County police officer accused of using his pepper spray gun to permanently blind a woman pleaded not guilty yesterday to all charges against him.

On Feb. 21, Officer Enoch Clark of the Beaumont Police Department pulled over Beaumont resident Monique Christina Hernandez, 32, on suspicion of drunk driving. For reasons that aren’t clear an argument or altercation ensued, and Clark ended up shooting Hernandez in the face with his JPX pepper spray device.

That particular “less-than-lethal” weapon is supposed to be used at distances of five feet or more, according to a criminal grand jury report released yesterday upon Clarks’ arraignment. Instead, the grand jury concluded, Clark shot Hernandez in the face from less than a foot away.

The San Bernardino Sun reports that both Hernadez’ eyes were severely injured as a result of the blast, and it is doubtful she will ever see again. A report by KTLA quotes Hernandez’ lawyer, Milton Grimes, as saying that the force of the impact caused “her right eye to explode” and “severe nerve damage on her left eye.”