ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A park ranger used a stun gun on a Native American man visiting the Petroglyph National Monument while he was walking his dog off a trail, video shows.
Darrell House has visited the monument many times, and often goes off the trail, KRQE reported. On Saturday, he said he walked off it when he noticed a large group ahead and he wanted to maintain social distancing.
When he walked off, a ranger appeared behind him and told him to return to the trail. House said he did, but the ranger kept following him asking for identification, KRQE reported. Then the ranger tased him.
“I go there to pray. I bring my sage. I do my prayers. I harvest dirt from the area for ceremonies,” House told KOB. “I didn’t harm anyone. I didn’t cause any harm to anybody. I wasn’t disorderly. I wasn’t on any substances. This has been going (on) for years. I’m practicing my religious rights on my ancestral land.”
House said his dog, Geronimo, was also struck by the prongs.
“I was holding my dog, so my dog got tased as well, he felt the shock, he felt everything. I ended up dropping him when I fell,” House said.
The ranger cited House for interfering with agency functions, concealing his identity and being off trail, KOB reported.
The National Park Service said it’s investigating.
“This incident is under review and has been referred to our internal affairs unit for a thorough investigation,” the agency said in a statement. “We take any allegation of wrongdoing very seriously, and appreciate the public’s patience as we gather the facts of this incident.”
House said he plans to return to the monument.
Earlier this year, a ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park used his stun gun and later fatally shot an unarmed visitor, KOB reported. While the ranger was cleared of any criminal charges, he is facing a lawsuit from the man’s family.