A cop in Washington is facing charges after officials say she threatened to use a Taser on a suspect’s genitals during an arrest.
Officers with the Vancouver Police Department responded to a call about a theft from a male and female suspect at a local Walmart on May 21. When officers arrived at the store’s parking lot, they approached the suspects at the scene. The woman fled while officers caught up with the man.
Body camera footage posted by the city in July shows the officers grabbing the man wearing a Nike hoodie and black backpack. The suspect, who is on the ground, attempted to escape but was restrained by officers.
According to the video, the bodycam was knocked to the ground during the encounter, and footage from another officer starts playing. From this angle, an officer appears to stun the suspect in the back during the struggle with their colleague. Moments later, the suspect was cuffed with his hands behind his back.
Additional footage from the store’s surveillance camera was also included in the video.
“The two VPD officers were able to get the male to the ground. However, before he could be handcuffed, he jumped up, punched one of the officers in the face, and kicked the other officer in the chest. Both officers began struggling with him to gain control,” the department said in a press release, per KOIN.
“One of the officers deployed a Taser to the subject’s back to gain compliance, which was not effective enough to get him handcuffed. During the struggle, one of the officers exposed the subject’s genital area and threatened to activate the taser if he did not stop resisting.”
Officials said Officer Andrea Mendoza allegedly threatened to use the Taser on the suspect’s private area.
“Knock it off, or I will do it in your nuts,” the officer could be heard saying around the 3:20 mark. “ I will f**king tase you in the nuts.
The suspect’s face and penis were blurred out in the video. Per the video, he was transferred to a local hospital before being booked in jail. He was later identified as Elijah Jaden Guffey-Prejean, and documents revealed that he had $103 of stolen items in his possession, according to the news station.
Mendoza was reportedly issued fourth-degree assault charges and was placed on administrative leave following the May incident. OPB reported the charges are considered a gross misdemeanor.
A completed Clark County Sheriff’s investigation was sent to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, resulting in Mendoza’s charges.
Mendoza, a veteran officer, is being backed by the Vancouver Police Officer’s Guild, who called her charges “tortured” and “baseless,” according to KOIN.