No charges for PPB captain in water-spraying incident

"I cannot prove a crime occurred under either of their claims," district attorney wrote

PPB seal, file. (KOIN)
PPB seal, file. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — No criminal charges will be filed in connection with a dispute between an off-duty police captain and a woman walking a dog.

In May, Julie Norman reported Portland Police Capt. Todd Wyatt squirted her with a hose because he was angry the dog she was walking defecated near his yard.

Wyatt was off-duty and not in uniform at the time of the dispute.

According to a memo written by Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Ramras, Wyatt “was not aware of the dog defecating and this had nothing to do with his actions.” Instead, Wyatt told investigators Norman spat on him so he squirted her with a hose to prevent her from spitting again.

“I cannot prove a crime occurred under either of their claims,” Ramras wrote.

Investigators identified only one “non-biased” witness. The person was visiting a relative on the same street and did not know either person before the incident.

According to the witness account:

  • Norman screamed “at the top of her lungs” several houses away.
  • Norman insulted Wyatt, who was watering his lawn, by calling him a “motherf—er”, a “son of a b—-” and “every other name you could think of.”
  • She yelled that Wyatt had to “study the f—ng law” regarding an easement.
  • Norman stated that she was going to spit on Wyatt 3 times.
  • Norman acted in a threatening fashion and wanted to record Norman with his phone’s camera, but it wasn’t working properly.

The witness came forward after he heard Norman say she was “attacked” while talking on the phone. He wanted to let police know “she was not attacked by any means” and he would have “probably done the same thing” Wyatt did.

“She’s making it sound like she’s an innocent woman walking down the curb there and somebody just all of a sudden sprays her with a hose,” the witness reportedly told police. “That is not even close to what happened.”

Norman told Ramras she does not agree with the witness’ account.

Had the case gone to trial, Ramras said his testimony would have created a resonable doubt. He wrote that “there is insufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Wyatt committed Harassment against Ms. Norman. There is likewise insufficient evidence to prove that Ms. Norman committed Harassment against Mr. Wyatt.”

Norman learned Wyatt works for PPB after the incident, according to the memo. She told investigators his employment was a factor in her desire to report the event.

“Although a person’s employment sometimes is a factor in the decision as to whether to file criminal charges, it is not in this case,” Ramras wrote.

According to Ramras’ memo:

  • Wyatt was off-duty, at home and in civilian clothing at the time.
  • There is no indication he identified himself as a police officer.

The official memo was submitted on June 30.

PPB spokesperson Sgt. Pete Simpson said he did not have any information on the decision and could not provide a statement to KOIN 6 News.

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