A harrowing video has been circulating on social media, showing a hiker who has identified himself as a Native American Marine veteran screaming in agony while being repeatedly tased by a park ranger for leaving a trail in New Mexico.
According to the description of the recording, the incident took place on Sunday at the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, where Darrell House wrote he often visits to pray to ancestors and meditate.
The video of House’s violent encounter with the park ranger so far has been viewed more than 82,000 times since he uploaded it onto Instagram on Monday.
Darrell House, a Navajo and Oneida Marine veteran, on Monday shared cellphone video on his Instagram page that shows him being repeatedly tased by a park ranger
The retired serviceman said he was confronted by the ranger at New Mexico’s Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, where he goes to pray to ancestors and meditate
‘Today 12/27/2020, I was tased for being off trail at the Petroglyphs,’ House wrote in the caption. ‘I come here to pray and speak to my Pueblo Ancestor relatives. Even though I’m Navajo and Oneida, I honor this land.’
According to House, he was walking at the site with his small dog, Geronimo, and a woman when they encountered a large group of hikers, which prompted them to go off the trail for social distancing purposes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
House conceded that he sometimes strays away from the hiking trail by a few feet to collect dirt for his religious ceremonies and to pray, which he claimed previously never raised any objections from park officials.
But on Sunday he said he was confronted by a ranger, whom he identified as Officer Gardner, who began following him and demanding that House show his identification.
The ranger used force against House after the man went off trail with his sister and pet dog, and then refused to identify himself
House is seen in the video pleading with the officer that he is ‘a peaceful person.’ His pet dog, Geronimo, is seen in the center
The ranger tased House in the arm and leg, and also possibly struck his dog
House, who is said to be a Marine veteran, refused to comply with the ranger’s demands, which eventually prompted the officer to deploy his taser against him.
In House’s cellphone video, he is seen writhing in pain on the ground and screaming, ‘Help! Help!’ after being struck with the taser in the leg.
A woman off camera repeatedly asks the officer: ‘What are you doing?! Stop!’
After coming up to a kneeling position, House continues to scream in agony before the officer hit him with the taser in the arm.
The officer then orders House to put his hands behind his back, but the man refuses, saying he had done nothing wrong.
‘I’m a peaceful person, Sir, please,’ he pleads with the ranger.
When House spots another hiker passing by in the distance, he springs to his feet and begs for help, saying: ‘Please, help me. I’m just here on a walk. This guy [ranger] is hurting me, he’s tasing me.’
House eventually settles down and tries to explain that he had gone off the trail to social distance himself, but the officer cuts him off and tells him he is being detained for refusing to identify himself.
When a second officer arrives on the scene, House finally puts his hands behind his back and is placed in handcuffs.
House was not arrested but was given three citations for interfering with agency function, false information, and being off-trail.
House later wrote on his Instagram account and told the local news outlet KOB4 that his left leg was left numb and bleeding from being tased, and that one of the barbs from the stun gun also hit his dog, leaving the animal shaken.
He reiterated that he did not feel he needed to identify himself to the officer for doing nothing wrong.
House explained that he went off trail to socially distance himself from a large group of hiker. He also argued that as a Native American, he has a right to be on that land
‘Here, you will see a white man abuse his power,’ House wrote. ‘The law doesn’t work for the Indigenous. The government doesn’t give a s*** about us. This was uncalled for… If anyone has the right to be off trail and wonder this land, it’s the NATIVE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY!’
A defiant House told KRQE he will continue visiting the Petroglyphs monument and go off trail in violation of National Park Service’s policy to perform his prayers because it is his right as a Native American.
The National Park Service has confirmed the tasing incident in a statement and said it has been referred to the NPS Office of Professional Responsibility ‘for a thorough investigation.’
The statement continued: ‘while we work to gather the facts of this specific situation, we cannot speculate on the events leading up to what was captured on video. We take any allegation of wrongdoing very seriously, and appreciate the public’s patience as we gather the facts of this incident.’
— to www.dailymail.co.uk