Trash can confrontation lands Peoria cop under investigation

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Ofc. Jasson Peterson is accused of using a trash can to damage a man's truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ofc. Jasson Peterson is accused of using a trash can to damage a man's truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Devon Loyden was driving eractically and Peterson was trying to get him to stop, a police report said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Devon Loyden was driving eractically and Peterson was trying to get him to stop, a police report said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Loyden said Peterson's actions scratched and dented his truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Loyden said Peterson's actions scratched and dented his truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Peterson remains on administrative leave but isn't facing charges while Loyden is. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Peterson remains on administrative leave but isn't facing charges while Loyden is. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A confrontation involving a trash can in the middle of a Gilbert street has a Valley police officer facing possible disciplinary action and another man facing criminal charges.

The Peoria Police Department placed Ofc. Jasson Peterson on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation shortly after the March 4 incident. Peterson remains on administrative leave.

According to police reports, the 44-year-old officer was off-duty when he got into an argument near his Gilbert home with the driver of a pickup truck.

The driver, 50-year-old Devon Loyden, says Peterson intentionally rammed his truck with a town-issued garbage can, causing scratches and a dent on the passenger side.

“He took it and he just rammed it. He ran up to (the vehicle) and just rammed it into my truck. Very violent,” Loyden said in an interview.

[READ: Police report on confrontation between Peterson and Loyden (WARNING: Explicit Language)]

3TV/CBS 5 was unable to reach Peterson for comment at his home.

Gilbert officers who responded to the scene recommended misdemeanor charges against both men; however, court records show that four months after the incident, Loyden is the only one facing criminal prosecution.

“I trusted the process, that the process would take care of it,” Loyden said. “The process kind of let me down a lot.”

Around 7:30 p.m. that Saturday night, Loyden was driving around a neighborhood near Higley and East Riggs roads, playing a game of hide-and-seek with several kids for his son’s 13th birthday. In the game, the driver and passengers in the pickup truck search for kids hiding throughout the neighborhood, Loyden said.

Peterson told investigators he noticed the truck driving erratically up and down the street and became concerned, so he grabbed his garbage can and walked into the middle of the road in an attempt to slow down the vehicle.

Loyden stopped about 15 feet from the trash can, according to Peterson’s account, then tried maneuver around the trash can.

As he drove around the trash can, Loyden said the off-duty officer shoved the plastic bin into the passenger side of his truck. Loyden then got out of his vehicle, and the two men got into an argument. When Loyden tried to take photos of Peterson, Peterson tried to grab the phone from Loyden’s hands, according to the police report.

Peterson then assumed a fighting stance and challenged Loyden to a fight, according to Loyden’s account.

“He could have said, ‘Hey, I don't like your driving. I'm an off-duty officer. Please keep it down.’ But no,” Loyden said. “Instead, he takes this trash can and rams it into the side of my car (like) some vigilante.”

“He escalated. He tried to challenge me, wanted to fight me. He rammed my car – very violent,” Loyden added. “This is not the type of guy I want as a police officer. Not the type of guy I want to protect me.”

According to the police reports, Peterson has been with the Peoria Police Department for 18 years. One investigator noted his “surprise” by the off-duty officer’s actions.

“I expressed my surprise at his decision to move a trashcan (sic) into the middle of the street in order to stop a moving vehicle then to move it further north as the vehicle attempted to get by him. I further pointed out his actions, as described by him, were criminal in nature and suggested he make contact with a supervisor from his department,” wrote Gilbert Ofc. Ric Borom.

Investigators recommended misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct against both men to the Gilbert Prosecutor’s Office, plus a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving against Loyden.

On March 16, the Gilbert Prosecutor’s Office filed both charges against Loyden plus a third charge of endangerment against the 50-year-old father, who had several children in the truck at the time of the incident. Court records show no charges have been filed against Peterson.

A spokesperson for Town Attorney could not be reached for comment.

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