'RHOC's Lauri Peterson Claims Cops Fired 'Pepper Bullets' At Her Son In Prison

Aug. 9 2018, Updated 12:28 a.m. ET

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Former Real Housewives of Orange County star Lauri Peterson alleged Sheriff’s deputies fired pepper bullets at her son, Josh Waring, at an Orange County jail.

In an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com, the reality TV mom claimed her imprisoned son, 29, nearly "choked" and "suffocated" from the mistreatment.

Now, Waring’s attorney is fighting back and demanding county and Sheriff’s officials to release tapes of the incident.

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As Radar readers know, Waring has been in jail for two years fighting felony attempted murder charges.

Waring appeared in Orange County Superior Court on Thursday, July 26, where Waring’s motion to dismiss the case was heard.

Peterson told Radar Josh has been continuously and unfairly targeted by deputies inside the jail.

She claimed it was in the middle of the night on June 24 when deputies fired pepper bullets at the area of the county jail where her son was sleeping.

“He was hit with at least six pellets on his body,” Peterson said. “When it hit, the pellets released mace. He became violently ill, and it nearly choked and suffocated him to death. He was able to get a washcloth and put it over his nose, but he was very ill. He received no medical treatment and no one was called to help him."

During Thursday’s hearing, Waring’s attorney, Joel Garson, asked the court to order the County of Orange and the Sheriff’s Department to release at least 10 hours of video footage taken inside the county jail from June 24 to June 28.

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An attorney for the county asked the judge to quash Garson’s subpoena because she said it is not relevant to Waring’s motion to dismiss his attempted murder case. She added the subpoena was insufficient because it didn’t spell out clearly why the video is relevant to the motions they were arguing about.

Garson said he believes deputies purposely fired the pepper bullets at his client as retaliation, and added Waring’s case has uncovered various “careless errors” made by the Sheriff’s Department. “It shows the consciousness of guilt of the Sheriff’s Department,” Garson claimed to the court.

Waring has been in jail since June 20, 2016, and is accused of attempting to kill Daniel Lopez, 35, who was shot outside a sober living home in Costa Mesa. According to prosecutors, Waring got into a confrontation earlier that day with one of the residents. He then returned to the home and allegedly shot Lopez, who survived his serious injuries.

In court documents, Garson alleged the true shooter was Waring’s former friend, Brian Goldstein, who fired the shots from a blue car. Garson said Waring was in a white vehicle when he returned to the Costa Mesa home.

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Witness Ronnie Dufault, however, told police he saw Waring fire the shots. Waring has maintained he did not fire the gun.

Prosecutor John Maxfield objected to the release of the videos, but declined to comment about the pepper bullet shooting incident. The judge said he would consider both sides' arguments and issue an order.

Peterson, who sat in the courtroom audience, told Radar she is at awe with her son’s resilience. The former RHOC star said although her son has had problems with drugs throughout his young life, he is not violent and would never harm another person.

Peterson added claims by Sheriff detectives that her son stabbed another inmate in jail is completely false, especially since he is alone in a cell and is separated from other inmates. She said the stabbing actually occurred in the cell next to her son’s.

“He got placed into solitary confinement for that … for something he did not do,” Peterson told Radar. “For them to release reports that he stabbed someone is defamation of character.”

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