Man pulled over for DUI, pepper-sprayed for evading police
A Pennsylvania man was pepper-sprayed by officers as they attempted to arrest him for a traffic violation. The man, a 34-year-old from Wilke-Barre, was allegedly attempting to evade arrest for a drunk driving charge when he was sprayed by police. He faces official charges of DUI, resisting arrest, eluding a police officer and a variety of other traffic violations. The man is currently being held on a $50,000 bond. Authorities said they received a report that a man in a black SUV leaving a Best Buy parking lot may have shoplifted from the store. The DUI defendant was driving the same model that was described by store employees, but he apparently did not take anything from that establishment. Instead, when police officers attempted to pull him over, the man attempted to flee, afraid that he might be pulled over for speeding. The man tried to evade the officers by driving through a parking lot, but he was stopped when he encountered a fence. After getting out of the vehicle, the man refused to follow the commands of officers, insisting on keeping his hands in his pockets. That is when the police officers sprayed him in the face with pepper spray. Reports from the scene indicate that the man smelled strongly of alcohol and may also have had an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. It is not clear whether officers were actually justified in pulling the man over, but he accrued additional criminal charges because of his evasive behavior in connection with the DUI charge. Authorities should still execute caution when choosing to spray a defendant in the eyes with pepper spray. Accosting a defendant can be seen as a violation of their civil rights. Criminal defense attorneys can help defendants in such cases learn more about their rights, and they can protect defendants throughout the entire criminal process.