Antonio Prieto-Sanchez, 56, of Roche Harbor, was charged in the San Juan County Superior Court on March 8 with assault in the second degree — intentional bodily harm after he sprayed a deputy in the mouth with the contents of an aerosol can.
At approximately 6 p.m. on March 5, two San Juan County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a residence on Roche Harbor Road. According to court documents, Prieto-Sanchez had allegedly called 911 and said that someone was coming after him and going to kill him.
The deputies reportedly attempted to contact Prieto-Sanchez, but the house was dark, vehicles were missing from the driveway and no one answered the door. Prieto-Sanchez allegedly called 911 again, stating he and his family in the house and he threatened to burn the house down. He was home alone at the time of the incident.
The deputy knocked on the door several times but no one answered, the report stated. The deputy then walked to another door, this one, which was glass and barricaded with a board.
When the deputy noticed Prieto-Sanchez near a window, he allegedly asked Prieto-Sanchez to come outside, but he shouted “unintelligibly,” and refused to exit the house.
According to the deputy Prieto-Sanchez reportedly gestured angerly with his hands and shouted, “Go away,” before closing the blinds.
Another deputy spoke through the door with Prieto-Sanchez, the documents claimed, while the deputy looked for another entry into the house. According to the deputy report, Prieto-Sanchez had allegedly said he had propane and was going to light the house on fire. The deputy said he had seen flames through the window and left to contact a supervisor.
Prieto-Sanchez spoke with a thick accent and was slurring his words through the door, according to the probable cause statement. The deputy asked what Prieto-Sanchez was upset about, he did not respond but allegedly said he had propane.
A deputy said he noticed a burst of orange light consistent with fire contained in a spray can or some other small container of volatile gas under pressure. Both deputies stated they witnessed Prieto-Sanchez holding a spray canister and a small bottle of propane. The first deputy said he was concerned the house would be filled with flammable gas and that Prieto-Sanchez would ignite it.
According to the deputy’s report, he feared Prieto-Sanchez would start a fire that could spread to other residences. The deputies called for backup. Four more officers arrived to assist.
The four officers forced their way into the residence with two beanbag shotguns and a ballistic shield. According to the deputy’s report, the officers found Prieto-Sanchez behind a door.
The house smelled of spray paint and petroleum aerosols, a deputy said. Prieto-Sanchez allegedly had a spray can in his hands as well as a “large lit flame.” As the officers approached, Prieto-Sanchez reportedly screamed that he didn’t do anything and told them to go away. The deputy’s report said that Prieto-Sanchez refused to drop the items when commanded to do so. A deputy then fired a round from the non-lethal beanbag shotgun, the report said.
Prieto-Sanchez then allegedly screamed, ran into another room and shut the door behind him. A deputy eventually kicked in the door, sustaining abrasions to his arm. Another deputy then pushed the door open with his shoulder.
According to the deputy’s report, Prieto-Sanchez purportedly refused verbal commands again. The first deputy then overpowered Prieto-Sanchez and placed him under arrest. In his waistband, the deputy said he found a large filet knife.
Once outside, one of the deputies began to cough and retch. He said that while he was in the house, Prieto-Sanchez had allegedly sprayed him in the mouth by something unknown.
Emergency medical response was contacted and the deputy was taken to the hospital. According to the report, he had either been sprayed in the mouth with WD-40 or Ace brand “Rust-Stop” spray paint.
The spray caused painful burns to his lungs and airway — he then began coughing up blood. The deputy was kept at the hospital overnight to observe inflammation in his lungs.
Court documents said that Prieto-Sanchez did not appear to have been injured when shot by the beanbag shotgun.
Prieto-Sanchez has no known previous criminal record and was released for $1,000 cash bail. His arraignment is set for 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 18.