A criminal complaint has been filed against a Massachusetts police office after he deployed pepper spray on someone in custody who allegedly did not pose a threat to him last year, according to an investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office and Somerville police.
Somerville Police Officer Michael McGrath is facing a charge of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon for the incident on Oct. 1, 2019, the district attorney's office said.
A spokesperson for the city said hours after the incident, McGrath was put on paid administrative leave.
"In light of the felony charge, the City converted his status to an unpaid administrative leave," Denise Taylor, director of communications and community engagement for Somerville, said in a statement.
Mayor Joseph Curtatone issued a statement saying neither the city nor the police department "do not and will not tolerate any unnecessary use of force."
McGrath is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 13.