Two private security guards who deployed pepper spray at pro-abortion rights demonstrators during an East Bay Planned Parenthood protest 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 in the Oct. 13 incident at the Walnut Creek clinic, the DA's office said.
The guards, hired by anti-abortion activists, were carrying firearms and illegally large canisters of pepper spray when the altercation occurred with protesters gathered outside to support Planned Parenthood, the DA's office said. Members of the anti-abortion group 40 Days for Life also were protesting outside the clinic.
Momi was hired to provide security on behalf of 40 Days for Life, and during the late morning of Oct. 13, during an altercation with the pro-abortion rights activists, he and Reeves deployed their pepper spray canisters against members of that opposing group, the DA said. Hours later, more Planned Parenthood supporters arrived at the scene, and the security guards deployed pepper spray at those protesters too.
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Four people, including a photographer who was there to document the demonstration, were impacted by the spray that came from canisters larger than the maximum 2.5 ounces allowed by state law, the DA said.
Walnut Creek police declined to arrest or cite anyone.
A court date for the guards' arraignments had not yet been set.