protest MAIN (copy)

The participants of last month’s protest incident are pictured. Cathy Tashman, the woman who was sprayed, second from left, and her parked vehicle in a Highway 92 lane, with the man who sprayed her, Don Fruhwirth, standing next to the car with bullhorn on the right. Both Tashman and Fruhwirth have been charged for their actions related to the Sept. 19 protest.

SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista Police Department has charged two Hereford residents for an incident that occurred on Sept. 19 during public demonstrations held alongside Fry Boulevard and State Route 92.

The incident occurred when 55-year-old Cathleen Tashman stopped her car on State Route 92 during demonstrations that were planned by two groups of area residents. Tashman exited her vehicle and engaged in a verbal exchange with nearby demonstrators.

That exchange escalated, with 26-year-old Hereford resident Don Fruhwirth threatening and then spraying Tashman twice with pepper spray.

After gathering and examining video evidence, collecting numerous witness interviews and statements, and reviewing the case with the Cochise County Attorney’s Office, the department charged Tashman with obstructing a public thoroughfare and Fruhwirth with two counts of assault.

“The Sierra Vista Police Department remains committed to the support of constitutionally protected speech and peaceful assembly,” Sierra Vista Police Chief Adam Thrasher says. “We emphasize that these activities need to be conducted in a time, place, and manner that is safe and respectful to the rights of others.”

Submitted by Sierra Vista Police