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Pepper-sprayed parent speaks on incident


OKLAHOMA CITY – A parent was jailed and a Putnam City campus police officer injured on Friday in a fight outside Capps Middle School.

Now that parent is speaking out, claiming he was actually the victim.

Cody Howard said it all happened after he dropped off his daughter at Capps Middle School Friday morning.

He said he held open the door for officer Andrew Zamudio.

“And he walks through, didn’t make any eye contact and I said, ‘you’re welcome,’ as I’m walking out, I’m about halfway out to my car and he comes out just belligerently cursing me,” Howard said.

Howard said they argued, then he followed the officer back into the school to ask for his name and badge number.

He said Officer Zamudio refused and then walked out to Howard’s car, demanding Howard’s ID.

Howard claims while he was trying to get out his license, the officer attacked him.

“He just jumps on me and is on my neck and I’m pulling him off of me and the two principals walk out and I’m yelling help to them,” Howard said. “He radioed in for backup. Next thing I know I’m being pepper sprayed, he’s screaming, flipping out.”

On Friday, school officials defended the officer’s actions.

“I’m certain that the officer handled things as an officer should handle things,” Steve Lindley said, spokesperson for the Putnam City School District. “This was a parent that was belligerent and needed to be taken out of the school.” 

Howard said his eyes are still stinging from the pepper spray and that doctors in the emergency room told him he had contusions in his shoulder.

He said he plans to fight the charges against him hopes to see action taken against the officer.

“I hope to see him lose his job or at least get reprimanded a little bit at least something over this whole deal,” Howard said.

School officials said the officer was treated and released for a leg injury.

They said the police report will be finished Tuesday and forwarded to the district attorney, who will make the decision about what happens next.

They said any time an officer uses force in an arrest, they conduct an internal investigation to determine if the officer’s actions were appropriate.