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Video shows man being pepper-sprayed reportedly for not wearing a mask at dog park

San Diego police are investigating after a woman reportedly maced or pepper-sprayed a man, apparently for not wearing a mask while he was eating at Dusty Rhodes Dog Park in Ocean Beach last week — an encounter that was partially captured on video by a bystander.

The 51-second video shows a woman grabbing onto her dog’s leash with her left hand and pointing something — presumably the mace or pepper spray — at the man’s face as his arms are raised in the air. The woman, who is seen wearing a black mask, at one point grabs his arm with her left hand in an apparent attempt to prevent him from turning away.

The encounter occurred near a picnic table about 3 p.m. Thursday. The man told police the woman approached him and yelled at him for not wearing a mask and eating at the park before she sprayed him and left.

The man suffered redness, burning and irritation to his eyes, face and neck, as well as blurred vision, according to police and the man’s wife. He did not want to be identified.

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Police spokesman Officer Billy Hernandez says it’s a crime to use mace or pepper spray unless the substance is used in self-defense. He said the case was assigned to a detective on Monday.

The man’s wife, Ash Sherilynn O’Brien, who shared the video on her Facebook page, said she and her husband were not wearing masks because they were eating food from Phil’s BBQ, away from others. They were with their 3-month-old pug named Spud.

O’Brien said a quarrel between her and the woman unfolded after O’Brien made a comment about someone else’s dog jumping onto the picnic table where she and her husband were eating.

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The woman “then proceeds to call us idiots for not wearing masks and eating at a dog park,” O’Brien said. She said she and her husband were unaware of rules against eating at the park, which they had been to only once before.

After exchanging words, the woman eventually got closer to O’Brien and pointed what she believed was pepper spray at her. Her husband tried to intervene, and that’s when he was sprayed, O’Brien said, adding that the woman pulled him closer to her.

“Also, keep in mind she was holding her dog the entire time, pulling it with her,” O’Brien said. “She almost sprayed her own dog, ours and another person’s dog.”

O’Brien, who is heard crying in the video, said she wanted the woman to be arrested.

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“We want justice,” she said.

Hernandez writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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