A metro-Atlanta police officer accidentally pepper-sprayed himself, on October 29, 2014. The officer, who serves as a school resource officer in the Cobb County School District, was attempting to apprehend an individual at Pebblebrook High School in Mableton.
Cobb County Schools Director of Communication, Jay Dillon, told CBS 46 in Atlanta that the officer was trying to arrest an unidentified individual, who was not supposed to be in the school building.
According to school officials:
“A confrontation ensued and while the officer was attempting to arrest the suspect, he deployed his pepper spray. The officer encountered self-contamination due to environmental conditions and proximity to the suspect.”
That’s a fancy way of saying that spraying pepper spray into the wind, when the wind is blowing in the direction of your face, is a bad idea.
According to foxmemphis.com, the officer received medical treatment.
On the other hand, the person that he was trying to arrest inside the school got away. Whoops.
The incident would almost be funny, except that earlier in the day police arrested an individual who had posted a threat against school officials and students on Instagram.
According to the school’s Director of Communications, Pebblebrook High School students were never in any danger during Wednesday’s episode.
The only information currently available on the identity of the person who the officer was trying to arrest is that he was not a student. Police are still searching for the unidentified trespasser.
Cobb County school resource officers are P.O.S.T. certified law enforcement officials. They’re responsible for safeguarding the well being of hundreds of students who attend school in the district. Accidents can happen in the line of duty, sure, but they’re more likely to happen when someone is either poorly trained or just inept. Every can of pepper spray sold in the US has a warning label, and every warning label includes some kind of caution about what happens when you spray it into the wind, as well as what happens when you spray too close to your own face.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when using pepper spray is a good idea, and when it’s not.
In another statement issued later in the day on Wednesday, school officials said the officer was ‘recovering’ from his self inflicted injuries.
*Featured image credit: CBS 46, Atlanta