The Virginia resident and US Army officer who was pepper sprayed by two Windsor, Virginia, police officers while in uniform during a traffic stop in 2021 was awarded less than $4,000 of his $1 million lawsuit.
Caron Nazario was driving at night in Windsor in December 2020 when two officers pulled him over at a gas station. Body camera footage of the incident played in court showed the two
officers drawing their guns on Nazario while he pleads and says he is “afraid to get out of the car.”
One officer is heard telling Nazario he “should be” afraid before spraying him with pepper spray.
Nazario filed a suit for $1 million in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in April 2021, and this week a judge awarded him only $3,685 in damages. One of the
officers, Joe Gutierrez, was ordered to pay out $2,685 and the other, Daniel Crocker, was ordered to pay $1,000. Attorneys for Nazario say the light sentencing sets a bad precedent for
“It is open season on citizens in Virginia and across the county,” attorney Tom Roberts said in a statement. “Citizens will not rest assured that scenes like this are not repeated with impunity.”
“I would like to say, continue to keep the spotlight on matters like this and thank you for the support,” Nazario said to reporters outside the courthouse on Tuesday. Plaintiff Attorney Jonathan Arthur has said Nazario and his legal team plan to appeal the decision.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO: THE DAILY BEAST
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