Woman accused of pepper spraying Gainesville police officer

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A Gainesville Police officer arrested a woman who investigators said pepper sprayed him in front of a church. The whole encounter and arrest was captured by the officer’s body camera.

It happened April 26 around noon in the 3000 block of McEver Road. The officer was dispatched to a report of an aggressive trespasser on Free Chapel property. Police said the officer found a woman lying on the lawn next to a stroller full of belongings. The officer told her she was trespassing on private property and asked her to move along.

The woman, who identified herself to the officer as 39-year-old Tia Machoanis McReynolds of Lawrenceville, began to get up. Police said the officer noticed she had a lanyard with pepper spray attached to it and reached for it while she was standing up. The officer back away and drew his Taser, police said, just as McReynolds sprayed it at the officer, striking the officer in his left eye and right arm.

The officer attempted to use the Taser, but it didn’t make contact with McReynolds, police said. The officer, who was impaired by the pepper spray at this point, used a takedown technique to subdue McReynolds on the ground and place her in cuffs, police said.

McReynolds was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated. It was later determined she was not injured.

The officer was also treated for the pepper spray. He returned to duty the following day.

McReynolds was booked into the Hall County Jail on one count each of battery and obstruction of an officer.