An internal investigation is underway following a city code enforcement officer’s use of pepper spray against a woman who reportedly disputed abatement action undertaken for weeds on her property.

Police said the spray hit her in the chest and she was not injured. She also reportedly declined medical treatment.

“We do have strong use of force policies and will be comparing the employee’s actions to those policies to ensure we did all the correct things,” Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said.

The woman, in her 70s, had been properly noticed about the abatement issue applying to her property in the 500 block of South Fifth Street, Hall said.

When code enforcement arrived to abate the weeds, the woman allegedly began arguing with the officer, following him and “pursuing” him out the door, Hall said.

The chief also said the woman was warned several times to fall back and was also warned that pepper spray would be deployed, but allegedly kept following the code enforcement officer.

The code enforcement officer also called police officers to respond.

“Once again, we are comparing it to our use of force policies. We are looking at it internally,” Hall said. “ … Ultimately, I am glad no one was injured in the incident.”

The woman was cited on suspicion of municipal interference. Hall said the incident report is not complete and until that time, he would not identify either the woman or the officer.

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