Southern California breaking news and trends

Judge orders release of officer names in UC Davis pepper spray incident

AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock

In this Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, photo University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad Friday in Davis, Calif. Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, as the chancellor of the school accelerates the investigation into the incident.

The Sacramento Bee reports on a ruling Tuesday that will require UC Davis to make public the names of police officers involved in last November's pepper spray incident during a campus protest of budget cuts and tuition increases.

The order by Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo -- in response to a lawsuit filed by the newspaper and by the L.A. Times -- reverses an earlier decision to allow the report to be released without revealing names.

The union representing campus police argues that state law prohibits disclosing names, and that officers could be targets for harrassment.

The report was deemed separate from any internal affairs investigation, however, and therefore it is subject to release under the California Public Records Act, Grillo concluded.

Names will not be immediately released. The judge is allowing time for the union time to file an appeal and stayed his order through July 27.

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Costa Mesa homeowner pepper sprayed by burglar, shoots at him with his handgun

Wikimedia

A pepper spray demonstration.

Tip to burglars: Don’t bring pepper spray to a gunfight.

A burglar in Costa Mesa learned this earlier in the week after blasting a homeowner in the face with his pepper spray canister. The homeowner, presumably blinded, nonetheless managed to retrieve his handgun and squeeze off a few rounds in the general direction of the intruder, Costa Mesa police said in a press release.

He missed, but the burglar fled for his life.

The incident took place around 2:40 a.m. Monday morning, police said, when “an unknown suspect pried open the front door to a home in the 2400 block of Elden Street.” The homeowner, awoken by the noise, discovered the intruder in his bedroom -- right before getting pepper sprayed. (Apparently burglars are known to do this.)

But he somehow managed to grab his gun -- perhaps he keeps it by the bed? -- and fired at the burglar.

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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.”

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The happiest spray on earth? Disney altercation video raises security questions

tower of terror disney

Photo by Missy Martinez via Flickr Creative Commons

A four-minute, profanity-heavy altercation between a seemingly drunk man and an employee of Disney's California Adventure was recorded Saturday afternoon by a park visitor.

The incident occurred near the "Tower of Terror" attraction where the suspect is seen punching, kicking, and grabbing a costumed park worker -- dressed as a bellhop in a straw hat -- who was attempting to subdue him with a repellent spray.

Despite long blasts to the face, the happiest spray on Earth administered by the Disney employee did very little to stop the suspect, who continued to curse and fight and ultimately knock the employee to the ground.

The suspect -- 53-year-old Glenn Horlacher -- was eventually restrained on the ground by two guests until authorities arrived. He was arrested for battery and assault by Anaheim police, booked into jail, and later released on a citation.

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