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The National Park Service is investigating after an officer used a stun gun on a Native American man accused of venturing off a trail into closed territory on a sacred archeological site in New Mexico.
Body camera footage released by park police of the incident, which occurred Sunday at the Petroglyph National Monument, shows the officer stopping a man and woman walking a dog and notifying them that they had ventured off the trail, asking them to stick to the fenced area to protect the vegetation in the surrounding areas.
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The officer can be heard telling the duo, identified by NBC News as Darrell House and his sister, that he was simply "warning" them and the incident was "not a big deal."
House refused to comply with officers, instead walking away from the scene, even as the officer told him he was "not free to go."
The officer then asked the two for identification, and both provided fake names and dates of birth after House initially refused to ID himself altogether, park authorities said.
On camera, the unidentified officer can be heard telling House, as he continues to walk away, to stop walking and to put his dog down or he will be tased.
After he doesn't comply, House begins to shout "Help!" before the officer tases him.
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"Prior to the officer using his electronic control device, or Taser, the officer attempted to resolve the interaction with an educational contact and simple warning," Park Services said in a statement.
It added that House received citations for being in a closed area off-trail, providing false information and failing to comply with a lawful order. His sister received citations for providing false information and being in a closed area off-trail.
The incident is under investigation by the NPS Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal affairs unit.
House told NBC News he was venturing off the trail at the monument to offer prayers and meditate in honor of the land and his ancestors, who are Oneida and Navajo.
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Petroglyph National Monument contains more than 20,000 petroglyphs or rock carvings, numerous archeological sites and remnants of native habitats. Dozens of tribes in the area consider the Petroglyph a sacred place and visit to connect with their ancestors, for prayer, and ceremony, the park said.
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