Calif. officer accused of blinding woman

Prosecutors say Beaumont officer permanently blinded a woman with pepper spray during a DUI investigation

By John Asbury and Richard K. De Atley
The Press Enterprise

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A Beaumont police officer has been indicted on assault charges after prosecutors say he permanently blinded a woman with pepper spray during a drunken driving investigation.

During an altercation as he tried to handcuff her, Officer Enoch Clark, 37, used a pepper-spray gun about 10 inches from the face of Monique Christina Hernandez, 32, of Beaumont, authorities said.

The weapon Clark used, called a JPX device, uses a wafer of gunpowder to propel a stream of pepper spray at speeds of more than 400 mph, Riverside County district attorney's office spokesman John Hall said. It is supposed to be used at a minimum distance of five feet, and optimally between six and 16 feet.

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