A former Daviess-DeKalb Regional Jail guard has been criminally charged after an incident in which he pepper-sprayed a detainee who was on suicide watch, court records show.
Keven Jaques, 49, is charged with the fourth-degree misdemeanor of assault.
“The deployment of the pepper spray was against orders, and in violation of the jail’s use of force policy and (the victim) was not a threat to himself or anyone else,” Jared Hogan, a law enforcement officer with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in a probable cause statement. “Furthermore, Jaques did not immediately notify a supervisor of the use of force.”
The charge, which was filed on April 23, comes after previous News-Press NOW reporting about the abuse allegations. Sarah LaRue, the mother of the detainee who was pepper sprayed, James LaRue, said a misdemeanor charge isn’t punishment enough.
“He was at work collecting a paycheck when he did it. He essentially got paid to harm my child and now he’s getting less charges because he was at work,” Sarah LaRue said. “There shouldn’t be less charges, there should be more, there’s less charges because he’s a cop.”
An initial investigation into Jaques’ conduct was launched days after the incident, according to emails obtained by News-Press NOW from DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark, who sits on an oversight board for the jail. Jaques was put on administrative leave, later fired and then criminally charged.
Even with the charge, Sarah LaRue told News-Press NOW she still fears for her son’s safety.
“If anything, I’m more concerned now because James is out of jail and this guard has been fired. And with a delay in pressing charges, what’s stopping the guard from going and finding James?” Sarah LaRue said.
According to Missouri CaseNet records, no bond has been imposed in Jaques’ case, though a summons was issued by mail to his St. Joseph address.