Lawn fumes sicken area

The Associated Press
Monday November 27, 2000

COVINA – Authorities evacuated 30 homes Saturday when a homeowner mixed pepper spray with water and spilled it onto his lawn, causing a police officer and several other residents to fall ill, firefighters said. 

The officer and another person were taken to an area hospital, according to paramedics. Two other people were treated at the scene and released. 

“My throat started burning but the first person who felt it was my mom,” resident Amy Honeywell told KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. “She started throwing up. At first we thought she just got ill from something, but then my throat burned and that was enough for us to call the police and have them check it out.” 

The fumes were reported shortly after 5 p.m., said Los Angeles County fire dispatcher Ed Pickett. The fumes naturally dissipated and residents were allowed back to their homes several hours later, Pickett said. 

Resident Ed Honeywell told KCAL he began to cough, sneeze and vomit and his eyes began to water severely. “Couldn’t see, couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe.”