SEATTLE — A King County sheriff’s deputy has been fired for squirting pepper spray on a water bottle belonging to a man who was living under a bridge east of Seattle.
Multiple news outlets reported Thursday that 43-year-old Deputy Derek DeZiel was terminated in late April by Sheriff John Urquhart who called DeZiel’s behavior “serious and egregious.”
Urquhart noted in a letter that DeZiel explained he took the action to make it uncomfortable for the man who set up the homeless camp and to not come back.
DeZiel also said he “didn’t have a problem with it,” and that it wasn’t the first time he had done something like this.
Urquhart called DeZiel’s rationale for pepper spraying the water bottle “concerning” and said he found it to be an attack on the most vulnerable.