Saturday June 6th, 2020 2:58AM

Body Cam Footage: Woman attempts pepper spraying Gainesville Police officer

By Alyson Shields Reporter

A Gainesville City Police officer was pepper-sprayed Friday while he responded to an aggressive trespasser call.

Cpl. Jessica Van with the Gainesville Police Department said around 12 p.m. Friday, officers responded to the call at Free Chapel on McEver. The officer made contact with the subject, later identified as Tia Machoanis McReynolds, and when he spotted what he believed to be pepper spray, he created distance between himself at McReynolds.

Van said in the release that the officer drew his Taser as McReynolds deployed the pepper spray. The Taser deployment did not make a connection and was ineffective; the officer was struck with the pepper spray in his left eye and right arm.

"That clearly would impair anybody. We carry pepper spray, we've been pepper sprayed, I've been pepper-sprayed, we know that it impairs you," said Cpl. Van. "He was impaired but he was still able to take down McReynolds to the ground, effectively using take down techniques to get her to the ground and handcuff her."

McReynolds, 39, of Lawrenceville, was arrested and faces one count each of battery and obstruction of an officer. She was transported to the hospital for a medical evaluation and was cleared with no injuries. 

The officer was medically evaluated and treated. Van said he returned to duty the next day.

"We are fortunate that everyone involved was not severely injured and we commend our officer for his quick response to an unexpected incident," Van said in the release.

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