A Beaumont Police Officer was arraigned on Thursday Apr. 26 on criminal charges stemming from an incident in which he is accused of blinding a 32-year-old woman during a potential DUI traffic stop.
Officer Enoch Clark was indicted On Apr. 19 by a Riverside County criminal grand jury on four counts: assault under the color of authority, assault with a less lethal weapon, use of force causing serious bodily injury and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, Riverside District Attorney spokesperson John Hall said in a written statement.
On Feb. 21 of this year, Clark and the woman got into a scuffle as he was trying to handcuff the suspected female drunk driver. In an attempt to subdue her, he shot her in the face at close range with a high-powered pepper spray device, known as a JPX.
Although the JPX isn’t considered lethal, the fact that Clark misused the powerful device –the pepper spray is propelled at 400 mph – caused severe injuries to the woman’s eyes.
An investigation showed that the minimum distance the device should be used is about five feet with the optimum distance being between six and 16 feet. When Clark sprayed the woman, they were a mere 10 inches apart.
Hall wrote that after reviewing the evidence, the DA’s Office brought the case before the criminal grand jury, made up of 19 members of the community, to allow members of the public to determine whether or not a crime had occurred.
The grand jury came to the conclusion that Clark’s actions were indeed criminal and returned its indictment.