National News

Video: Officers scold off-duty cop accused in trash can confrontation

Posted July 28, 2017 1:53 p.m. EDT

— Newly released body camera videos show Gilbert police officers scolding an off-duty Valley cop accused of ramming a vehicle with a garbage can.

The veteran officer, Jasson Peterson of the Peoria Police Department, has been on administrative leave since March while internal investigators determine if he violated any department policies.

"I can't believe I'm talking to a police officer that would do that," one Gilbert officer told Peterson during an on-scene interview. "How do you not know better?"

Peterson denies ramming the vehicle, but admitted he wheeled a trash can into the middle of a street near Higley and East Riggs roads to slow down a vehicle he thought was driving erratically.

"Who put you in charge of the roadway?" asked Officer Ric Borom. Borom made it clear he believed Peterson should have shouted at the driver to slow down and reported the license plate to a dispatcher.

The driver, Devon Loyden, said he was playing a game of hide-and-seek with several children at the time. The trash can left scuff marks, scratches, and a dent on Loyden's vehicle and set off a confrontation between the men. Some witnesses said Peterson rammed the truck, others said the vehicle clipped the can while trying to maneuver around it.

After interviewing several witnesses, investigators informed Peterson and Loyden they would recommend misdemeanor charges against them both.

Body camera video shows Peterson requested a one-on-one conversation with a higher-ranking officer at the scene, identified in documents only as Sgt. Savage. Peterson told the sergeant he used the trash can because he thought the driver was drunk and feared for the safety of children in the neighborhood.

"I guess what I'm asking is, we try to mediate as much as we can. Are we going to have the opportunity to do that? So he doesn't have an arrest, and I don't have an arrest or a citation," Peterson asked the sergeant.

In the end, Gilbert's town prosecutor filed charges against the driver, but declined to charge the off-duty officer. A call to the Gilbert town prosecutor's office Thursday was not immediately returned.

CBS 5/3TV has been unable to reach Peterson at home for comment on two occasions.