Soldier sues VA cop for pepper spray incident

"I'm actively serving this country and this is how you're going to treat me?"

Video released by U.S. Army lieutenant Caron Nazario's attorney shows the moment the soldier in uniform was pepper sprayed in the face with his hands raised, after a traffic stop turned violent in Virginia last December.

The suit, filed by Nazario in early April in the U.S. District Court of Norfolk against Windsor policemen Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker, alleges violations to his constitutional rights, and includes assault, illegal search and illegal detention.

Nazario's attorney Jonathan Arthur, said his client, who is Black and Latino, was quote "not resisting in any way shape or form."

"The lieutenant sent me his cell phone footage first. And it was horrifying. But I kept hoping and thinking, 'that's only one angle, maybe there's something I'm missing. Maybe the dashcam footage, or the bodycam footage shows something different'. And it didn't. It just got worse from there."

Nazario was driving his new SUV with a temporary paper tag displayed on the back window on December 5th, when he was told to pull over in Windsor, a small Virginia town southeast of Richmond.

When a police cruiser signaled for him to stop, the lawsuit says Nazario put on his blinkers, slowed down and looked for a lighted place to stop... eventually stopping at a gas station less than two minutes later.

The suit says an officer radioed to dispatch that a driver without a tag was "eluding police" and it was considered a "high risk stop" and another officer responded to the scene.

Nazario told police that he was afraid to get out of the vehicle.

The suit says Nazario had his hands up, offered no resistance, but was pepper sprayed and violently knocked to the ground and detained. Ultimately Nazario was released without charges.