GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A woman has been arrested for pepper spraying a Gainesville Police officer who helped her to the feet after she was found trespassing on church property, according to authorities.
Bodycam video released by Gainesville Police shows the officer approach the woman, who was laying on the lawn of the Free Chapel church on McEver Road. The woman had been reported as an “aggressive trespasser.”
“Ma’am, good morning, how are you?” the officer said as he approached the woman, later identified as Tia McReynolds. She was laying in the grass with her shoes off with a stroller full of belongings parked next to her.
“Are you a son of a [expletive]?” McReynolds is heard saying on bodycam. “Your badge says you are honorable.”
“I am honorable but I didn’t appreciate the other part,” the officer replied. He shook her hand and helped her to her feet. As he did so, he noticed she was wearing a lanyard on her neck that was attached to a can of pepper spray.
According to police, McReyonds reached for the pepper spray while standing up. The officer’s bodycam video shook as he reacted to the spray as it hit his left eye and right arm.
“I’m going to ask you to put that down …. I will tase you,” the officer said. McReynolds refused to comply and the officer fired his Taser.
“Why did you have to spray at me?” The officer was heard saying on bodycam video as he handcuffed her on the ground.
“Because the Lord told me to,” she replied.
McReynolds was transported to a nearby hospital to be evaluated and was cleared with no injuries. She was transported to Hall County Jail on charges of battery and obstruction of a police officer.
The officer was medically evaluated and returned to work the next day.
“We are fortunate everyone involved was not severely injured and we commend our officer for his quick response to an unexpected incident,” Gainesville Police said in a Facebook post.
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