Wayne Tilcock / The (Davis) Enterprise file, 2011

This Nov. 18, 2011, photo shows former UC Davis police Lt. John Pike using pepper spray on campus to move Occupy protesters.

UC Davis pepper spray cop files workers' compensation claim

Published: Saturday, Jul. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 - 11:01 pm

John Pike, the former UC Davis police lieutenant who was fired after pepper-spraying students during a November 2011 protest, has filed a workers' compensation claim stemming from the incident.

Pike could not be reached Friday and his attorney, Jason Marcus, declined comment.

The state's Division of Workers' Compensation website indicates his claim is related to injury to his "nervous system/psychiatric."

A mandatory settlement conference on the claim is scheduled Aug. 13.

Pike, a former Sacramento police officer, became the object of widespread scorn after video of him deploying the pepper spray went viral on the Internet.

Court papers indicate that after his identity became known he was bombarded with 10,000 text messages, 17,000 emails and that various food products and other items were ordered in his name and delivered to his home.

An internal affairs investigation concluded Pike acted reasonably and should face suspension or demotion, at worst. But UC Davis police Chief Matthew Carmichael rejected the findings and fired him, according to documents obtained by The Bee.

The pepper spray incident resulted in calls for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and several investigations.

The UC system later agreed to a $1 million settlement with students hit by the pepper spray, and the total cost of the incident is estimated at roughly $2 million.

Pike stands to garner much less if he is awarded anything.

Melissa Brown, a Sacramento attorney and workers' compensation expert, said a finding of 50 percent disability for an injured worker could pay $230 a week for just over five years.

Call The Bee's Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091. Follow him on Twitter @stantonsam.

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