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Friday, August 21, 2009

 

Deputies allow woman to pose with AR-15 assault rifle

Incident involving Midland County deputies ruled non-criminal by Williamson County, Round Rock authorities

 

Staff Reporter

The Midland Reporter-Telegram

Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:11 PM CDT
Round Rock police and Williamson County officials have decided five Midland County deputies who were investigated for taking photos of a waitress and one of their weapons at a Round Rock restaurant did not commit any criminal behavior.

In a document issued to the Midland Reporter-Telegram by Round Rock police Wednesday, authorities said the investigation into the incident “did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication” of any of the men.

Authorities were called after the deputies were seen posing with and taking photos of a waitress at Twin Peaks Restaurant and Bar in Round Rock around 9:50 p.m. Monday Aug. 10.

A police officer from Manor who observed the scene alerted Round Rock police and reported he saw subjects take a weapon out of the trunk of a vehicle in full view of the public.

After the Midland County-issued AR-15 assault rifle was removed from the trunk witnesses saw the Midland County deputies photograph a waitress holding the rifle while sitting on the trunk of a squad car, according to the police report.

During officials’ investigation at the scene, Midland County deputies Ronald Eugene Wright, 37, and Daniel Subia, 30, stated they were the ones who removed the weapon from the trunk.

When approached by Round Rock Detective J.D. Rowe about the incident, Wright and deputy Christopher Lee Evans, 34, stated “that they would hope for some form of professional courtesy” in Round Rock police’s response to the situation, according to the police report. Round Rock officials told the deputies their request was inappropriate, according to the report, to which the deputies acknowledged their actions had been unacceptable.

The Midland County deputies at the scene told Round Rock officials the event should never have occurred. They said the waitress had asked to have her photo taken, but that they should not have agreed.

Following the incident, Rowe contacted Midland County Patrol Commander Lt. Earl Stroup who, according to the police report, indicated the deputies’ actions were not in holding with his department’s standards and would be dealt with upon the deputies return to Midland.

When interviewed, the waitress stated the Midland County deputies had asked her to go outside and take pictures of her holding the weapon on their marked unit.

The digital camera used to take the photos was issued by the Midland County Sheriff’s Office. It was seized as evidence, but a search warrant was needed to retrieve the image in question from the camera, according to the police report.

The deputies were in the Round Rock area for training and were off-duty when at the restaurant.

The five men were investigated on a charge of disorderly conduct-displaying a firearm/weapon and the case has now been turned over in full to the Midland County Sheriff’s Department, which has been conducting an internal investigation.

The camera also has been turned over to Midland County since no charges were filed.

A copy of the 9-1-1 call that prompted authorities to respond to the scene at the restaurant will be released in the coming weeks, according to Round Rock officials.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter is holding a press conference in reference to the incident at 3 p.m. today.

 

In this photo provided by the Midland County, (Texas) Sheriff, ...

 

In this photo provided by the Midland County, (Texas) Sheriff, an unidentified waitress at Twin Peaks Restaurant and Bar posses for a photo in Round Rock, Texas, Aug. 10, 2009. Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter fired one deputy and suspended three others without pay for the photos of a waitress holding a rifle sitting on a Midland County patrol car. Round Rock officers were dispatched to the restaurant after someone reported the waitress with the weapon, which had been given to her by one of the deputies who had been attending a training session near Austin.

(AP Photo/Midland County Sheriff)  In this photo provided by the Midland County, (Texas) Sheriff, an unidentified waitress at Twin Peaks Restaurant and Bar posses for a photo in Round Rock, Texas, Aug. 10, 2009. Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter fired one deputy and suspended three others without pay for the photos of a waitress holding a rifle sitting on a Midland County patrol car. Round Rock officers were dispatched to the restaurant after someone reported the waitress with the weapon, which had been given to her by one of the deputies who had been attending a training session near Austin.(AP Photo/Midland County Sheriff)



http://www.mywesttexas.com/articles/2009/08/19/news/top_stories/doc4a8c310b92908011507831.txt#ixzz0OoOA6WAo


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