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Woman accused of pepper-spraying police officer at Free Chapel
Tia McReynolds.jpg
Tia McReynolds

A Lawrenceville woman allegedly pepper-sprayed a Gainesville police officer investigating a trespassing call April 26 at Free Chapel church, according to authorities.

Cpl. Jessica Van said an officer was dispatched around noon April 26 to the McEver Road church. The officer encountered Tia McReynolds, 39, lying on the lawn next to a stroller filled with her belongings.

Police released the officer’s body-camera footage Wednesday, May 1.

In the footage, after the two greet each other, McReynolds is heard saying, “Are you an honorable son of a b----?”

“Your badge, is it honorable?” she asks.

There is considerable noise, wind and interference on the footage, making some of their interactions difficult to discern.

“While speaking with McReynolds, the officer noticed she had a lanyard with pepper spray attached to it. Shortly after, McReynolds reached for her pepper spray while standing up,” Van wrote in a news release.

Warning: This video contains harsh language

The officer backed away and told her he would use his Taser, but Van said the device “resulted in a negative connection and was ineffective.”

The officer was hit with pepper spray in the left eye and right arm, according to police. On the video, the officer then takes down McReynolds and puts her in handcuffs.

“Why did you have to spray at me?” the officer asks.

McReynolds’ response is muffled and indiscernible.

After being evaluated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, McReynolds was taken to the Hall County Jail.

She was charged with battery and obstruction of an officer.

The officer was treated and returned to work April 27.

Van said the body-camera footage was released “to provide insight into what an officer may encounter during his/her routine of answering calls.”

“No officer expects to be pepper-sprayed while investigating a trespassing call. As an officer, you never know what call you may be responding to,” Van said.

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