SPERRY, Oklahoma – A 78-year-old man and his wife were driving home from church last Wednesday when he was reportedly pulled over and pepper sprayed by a Sperry police officer.
Charles Griffith says he was pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the street.
At a City Council meeting on Thursday, Griffith recounted the incident. He alleges that he got out of the car to wait, only to be told to get back in the car.
“He wanted to see my driver’s license and he just started saying he was going to take me to jail and this kind of stuff. I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Griffith explained.
That was when the real trouble started: Griffith explained that the officer “tried to get me up, twisted my arm.”
While he was sitting in the car, the officer pepper sprayed him. His wife was sitting next to him.
“She was sitting in the car when they pepper sprayed me, and I was afraid they were going to get her,” he said. His wife added that she had been hit in the face by some of the spray.
Griffith stated that the officer then yanked him up by his shirt and that he came away from the incident bruised and bloody.
After going to the hospital to be checked out, he and his wife, Joy, turned to city leaders on the following night. An official meeting could not be held because the mayor had undergone open heart surgery the previous week.
“I don’t want to have any hard feelings or anything, anybody get in trouble,” Joy said, adding that she simply wants to “stop this from happening anymore to anybody.”
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. Police Chief Mike Smith notes that Griffith has not filed a complaint with the department.
The officer involved in the incident has been with the police department less than a year.
Photo Source: News on 6