A man who was shot by Iowa police after macing a cop says he had a good reason to spray the officer, media outlets reported.
It was his dogs.
Leon Police Department officer John Thomas pulled over a car driven by Patrick Bauer, of Marshfield, Missouri, shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
While Thomas was inside his patrol vehicle, Bauer walked up to the car and began spraying the chemical at the officer, according to the release. That’s when Thomas fired multiple shots at Bauer that hit and seriously injured the 55-year-old man, the release said.
Thomas was treated at the scene of the shooting, and Bauer was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Des Moines in critical condition, authorities said.
From a hospital bed the next day, Bauer said he panicked during the traffic stop because he feared the police officer would discover an arrest warrant on meth charges and take him away from his two beloved dogs, according to KCCI.
“I feel he overreacted when I maced him,” Bauer told KCCI, at times crying during the interview with the Des Moines TV station. “Why two seconds after I got done macing him did he have his gun drawn, shooting me?”
The Iowa Department of Public Safety is leading the police shooting investigation, which could take several weeks, the agency said in the release. Authorities say they don’t have any video of the shooting because Thomas wasn’t wearing a body camera and his patrol vehicle doesn’t have a camera.
Thomas remains on paid administrative leave, authorities said.