Two private, armed security guards who pepper sprayed abortion rights demonstrators during a protest outside the Walnut Creek Planned Parenthood officers last fall have been charged in the incident, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Ishatpal Momi, 27, of Elk Grove and Peter Reeves, 45, of Sacramento face misdemeanor charges of battery and illegal possession of tear gas stemming from the Oct. 13 incident outside the clinic.
Both men were armed with handguns and large canisters of pepper spray as they formed a protective cordon around the group 40 Days for Life, which had hired them to provide security for what has become a regular protest at the clinic. People expressing support for the clinic were also on hand.
During the late morning of October 13, an altercation ensued and, as a result, Momi and Reeves deployed their pepper spray canister against members of the opposing group. Minutes later, additional individuals arrived on scene and the security guards once again deployed pepper spray against them. In total, four individuals were impacted.
The canisters of pepper spray used by the private security guards were too large and against state law, prosecutors said. State law only allows canisters of 2.5 ounces or smaller to be carried or used legally.
The case was reviewed and filed by Senior Deputy District Attorney Simon O’Connell. The defendants will be sent a notice to appear for their arraignment.