Fowler Police officer recorded pepper spraying man in the face on leave, under investigation
ROCKY FORD, Colo. (KRDO) -- A Fowler Police Department officer is on administrative leave after pepper spraying a man in the face and shooting bystanders with pepper balls from close range. The whole incident was caught on video and shared multiple times on social media.
According to the incident report, Fowler Police Officer Brandon Day responded to a house party in Rocky Ford as a backup on May 7. When he arrived, Day noted that there were 20 to 30 people surrounding officers trying to make an arrest.
In the police report, Day said he “discharged several pepper balls into the pavement which did not disperse the crowd. I then discharged several pepper balls into the chest and legs of multiple subjects.”
Video recordings posted on social media from that night show Day shooting pepper balls into the crowd.
Julie Apodaca was one of the people hit by a pepper ball. More than a week later, she still has a bruise the size of a baseball near her elbow.
“I was horrified,” she said. “I was truly horrified that he would go to that measure to disperse a crowd of kids when they're recording.”
In the incident report, Day said he fired multiple rounds into the crowd before returning to his car to get a can of pepper spray “in case the crowd returned.” Video then shows a person filming Day and putting a phone in his face. Day swats the phone and then pepper sprays the man in the face.
“It doesn’t help the stigma that everybody has of the police officers already, especially down here in the valley,” said Adam Apodaca, who was at the incident. “Everybody has their own stories with the cops and that just kind of solidifies that you can't trust them around here.”
Adam was the one arrested at the party. In a video, it appears an officer deploys a Taser as Adam is detained on his stomach on the front lawn of his house.
Adam was charged with resisting arrest, violation of parole, obstructing a peace officer, minor in possession, and contributing to delinquency.
Adam admitted to 13 Investigates that police are called to his house often for loud house parties, but he said it never escalated as it did that night.
“I don’t see why the police officers made such a big deal about a house party,” he said. “Young adults are going to have fun.”
The Fowler Police Department confirmed Day, who has been with the agency for four years, was placed on administrative leave.
“If words can get to him that easily, he shouldn't be allowed to be an officer,” Julie said.
The Fountain Police Department is investigating the incident.
13 Investigates obtained the footage circulating social media which can be viewed below.
Warning: The video contains strong language and shocking content and might be upsetting to some, viewer discretion is advised:
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