Officer Shaun Jurgens, who resigned on May 14, says he violated no department policy when he used force against David Washington on May 4.
Jurgens along with Cpl. Matt Deschenes and Sgt. Crystal Hill responded to calls of a hit-and-run, and a driver traveling in the wrong direction on northbound lanes of Jefferson Davis Highway near the University of Mary Washington pedestrian bridge.
Washington, 34, was operating a Hyundai when he hit a Jeep, crossed the median, struck a sign and eventually stopped in between an intersection.
With guns drawn, Hill and Deschenes were the first to approach the stationed Hyundai. They yelled at Washington to put his hands up. Then, Hill tells Deshcenes that he can’t see the driver’s left hand.
After the taser appears to not have reached its target, Jurgens pepper sprays Washington’s face. Hill and Deschenes then pull Washington out of the vehicle, force him on the ground, and handcuff him. Washington can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe.”
Washington later tells the officers that he had been sick for days, but did not know what was causing his illness.
Before an ambulance arrives, Jurgens helps Washington sit up and lets the suspect lean against his body.
Washington is facing charges of hit-and-run, reckless driving and driving on a revoked license. However, he has not been arrested on those charges, police say.
Jurgens also said he could not effectively target his taser because the suspect had been moving and the sunlight made it difficult for him to see the red dots which indicate where the taser’s prongs would hit.
Washington has been released from the hospital and is undergoing recovery, according to police.
The Fredericksburg Police Department is deciding whether Hill and Deschenes will face reprimands due to their handling of the situation.