Pepper-Spraying UC Cop Was Honored -- For Not Using Spray

John Pike Declined to Spray Scissor-Wielder in 2006

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011  |  Updated 5:56 PM PDT
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UC Davis Peppered With Controversy

This man is a hero. Really.

Lt. John Pike of the University of California-Davis police force received a commendation in 2006, when he tackled a scissor-wielding assailant -- and declined to use the pepper spray for which the campus cop is now internationally-famous.

In 2006, Pike -- a former Marine who joined the UC Davis police force in 2001 -- decided not to use pepper spray on a hospital patient who was threatening police with scissors, according to reports.

The non-lethal spray, which Pike infamously used on a line of student protestors sitting during a nonviolent protest, "wasn't the right tool" at the time, said Pike, who feared during the scissor incident that the spray could harm fellow officers or other bystanders.

Really.

Pike also used an alleged anti-gay slur against a fellow officer. That officer filed a lawsuit against the department, which settled the suit for $240,000 in 2008.

On Friday, Pike, a Roseville, Calif., resident, and another officer were videotaped and photographed dousing about a dozen demonstrators with pepper spray at point-blank range. Pike, the other officer and the UC Davis police chief have all been placed on leave with pay while the incident is investigated.

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