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DECATUR — Police are accusing a Warrensburg man of spraying his adult son with pepper spray after becoming convinced he was “trying to grab” a woman in a store.

A Decatur police affidavit said the incident happened Saturday night at a discount store in the 600 block of South Oakland Avenue. Police said they interviewed the 28-year-old son as his eyes were still burning and his nose streaming from the effects of the spray.

His 54-year-old father was booked on a preliminary charge of committing domestic battery while having a previous domestic battery conviction. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

Writing in the affidavit, police officer Christopher Skalon said the father was shopping in the store around 8 p.m. and his son was waiting outside in a car.

When the son said he saw a woman he knows enter the store, he decided to go and say hello. “He stated he entered the store and said something similar to ‘Hey, pretty girl’, while lightly touching/grabbing the back of her elbow,”  Skalon said. “He stated that (his father) then got in front of the girl and told him to go outside.”

The son told police he had a brief argument with his father and, as he was getting ready to walk out of the store, he was hit in the eyes with the pepper spray.

The father told Skalon that he was only trying to protect the woman, and that the spray had gone off accidentally. Skalon said he reviewed store surveillance tapes of the incident and said the woman was smiling as she left the store and did not appear to be in any danger.

The father is free after posting $5,000 bond with the condition he stay away from his son.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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