A 19-year-old man in Columbia has been arrested for pepper spraying children. Nicholas Hendricks is facing four counts of aggravated assault.
The incident happened Thursday night around 6:30 p.m. on Nowlin Drive. Authorities said someone in a blue Chevy Tahoe with several people inside pepper sprayed a group of children, ranging from ages nine to 13.
Elijah Beasley, 11, was sprayed in the face and suffered a severe asthmatic reaction that required attention from the paramedics.“They stuck their hand out with pepper spray. I came back down the street vomiting, with my eyes hurting,” Beasley explained.
The mother of a 13-year-old boy hit with the spray said she was shocked that it happened. “Awful. I was just devastated,” stated Shatona Armstrong. “Why would someone come through here and do that to children?”
According to a police report, Hendricks stated that he put the can of pepper spray out the window as the truck rode by, but did not think the spray would reach the children.
However, he told News 2 that someone else in the car sprayed the children and he took the blame so no one would get in trouble.
Hendricks also said he is sorry for what happened. “Well, if it was me I would go back to these parents and apologize sincerely and try and make things right,” he said.
Hendricks’ arrest is a violation of his probation, which he said included assault, evading arrest an underage consumption.