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Beaumont officer allegedly blinds woman with pepper spray

April 27, 2012 |  7:56 am

Pepper spray Beaumont
A Beaumont police officer accused of permanently blinding a woman with pepper spray has pleaded not guilty to four felony charges and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.

A Riverside County grand jury last week indicted officer Enoch Clark on charges of assault with great bodily injury and other felonies.

Clark pepper-sprayed the face of Monique Christina Hernandez, 32, on Feb. 21 as he tried to arrest her on suspicion of driving under the influence, the city of Beaumont said in a statement.

Clark allegedly fired the spray from 12 inches away using a JPX device, which shoots spray at speeds of 400 mph and is supposed to be used at a minimum distance of five feet, Hernandez's lawyer Milton Grimes said in an interview.

"She did nothing to warrant him putting a gun -- a pepper-spray Taser gun -- to her forehead and pulling the trigger, causing her right eye to explode and causing severe nerve damage in her left eye to the extent that she's now been declared totally blind," Grimes told KTLA-TV.

Clark is charged with assault likely to cause great bodily injury, assault with a less-than-lethal weapon, assault under the color of authority and use of force causing serious bodily injury.

He is now free on $50,000 bail.


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Photo: Monique Christina Hernandez. Credit: Milton Grimes.