U.S. Army Lieutenant takes stand in trial involving two Windsor officers

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 5:49 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Monday marks the first day of a trial over a controversial traffic stop involving a U.S. Army Lieutenant and two Windsor police officers.

The incident happened on Dec. 5, 2020.

Fast forward over two years later, and a lawsuit filed by the lieutenant is now underway.

Lieutenant Caron Nazario is suing officer Daniel Crocker and now former officer Joe Gutierrez for claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment and illegal search during that traffic stop.

This federal lawsuit claims the two Windsor officers threatened his life and military career.

When watching the body camera footage, Nazario gets screamed at, and pepper sprayed.

On Monday, it took the entire morning to select a jury, which resulted in five men and four women.

During opening statements, the defense stated the officers did not use excessive force and that Nazario refused to comply with over thirty orders.

The defense says Nazario was driving erratically, with heavily tinted windows, no registration and no license plate. Department leaders also say Nazario did not pull over right away.

Attorney Jonathan Arthur said his client drove to a well-lit gas station.

Once opening statements wrapped up after lunch, Nazario then took the stand.

In court, Nazario recalled those moments as Arthur played body camera footage.

Nazario said he feared for his life during the incident. He says he refused to step out of his vehicle because he thought he would get shot like an animal in his uniform.

The first day of the trial wrapped up around 5 p.m. It’s expected to continue Tuesday at 9:15 a.m.

More witnesses are expected to be called to the stand Tuesday morning.

This trial could take around five days.