Officer that pepper sprayed Lt. Caron Nazario previously used force during traffic stop in another locality

Virginia News

SMITHFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The police officer responsible for using physical force against Virginia National Guard Lt. Caron Nazario previously used force during a traffic stop involving another black man while working in Smithfield.

Before working for the Windsor Police Department, Officer Joe Gutierrez worked for the Smithfield Police Department from August 2016 until July 2017. FOIA requests show that Gutierrez tasered a man during a traffic stop on Dec. 19, 2016.

The Smithfield Town Manager, Michael Stallings said there were no complaints filed against Gutierrez while he was working for the department.

Records from the traffic stop show that Gutierrez responded to assist another officer, William Wooley. Throughout the incident Wooley is recorded on documents as taking the lead, video also shows him speaking to the driver, Mark Hynes, 26, and eventually cuffing him.

Officers were unable to get identification from Hynes when they pulled him over, a Social Security Number he gave them did not produce any results. In the video, officers ask for his social again and then ask him to exit the car, stating he gave them false information.

He does not exit immediately and this is when Officer Gutierrez also approaches Hynes with his taser drawn and directs it at him.

Officers continue yelling “step out of the vehicle,” and then announce the presence of the taser.

Hynes exits the car and Wooley gets him to lay on the ground and begins attempted to handcuff him. He eventually begins to resist the cuffing and an officer says “you’re gonna get tased.”

Hynes tries to stand up and escape this is when Gutierrez calls out “taser taser” and proceeds to shock him. Records show that he fired one cartridge and applied one cycle from the taser. The taser did make direct contact with Hynes but the documents state that the application of the device did not injure him.

According to the use of force report, Gutierrez says he was concerned about the dangling handcuff and the other officer’s safety.

With the taser still attached to Hynes, officers roll him over and handcuff him without deploying another shock. An officer can be seen with his knee on Hynes back once the handcuffing is complete. The officers remove the taser and stand him up.

Eventually officers run a breathalyzer test on Hynes which shows his blood alcohol content was .11, .03 over the legal limit. Records show he was charged with DUI, obstruction of justice and false information to police.

Hynes also had warrants out for arrest in another locality.

Officers appear to be wrapping up the incident when there is yelling and they run to where Hynes is and hold him down saying “what are you doing man? You have cuffs on, you’re not going anywhere.” He is quickly returned to the police vehicle that he attempted to escape from.

A medic was called to scene but there were no major injuries during the incident.

A portion of the 30 minute traffic stop body camera video is available below, a section has been removed from the middle to eliminate curse words hear from the background:

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News tips

Do you have a news tip or breaking news to share with WFXR?  Submit your tip here.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form