Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hampton County Sheriff's officer charged with pointing firearm

Hampton County reserve officer arrested for pointing firearm near Bluffton

BLUFFTON — A 29-year-old Hampton County Sheriff's officer reserve was arrested by Bluffton Police Office deputies for pointing his Sheriff's Office firearm at his neighbors.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports that 29-year-old Reserve Officer Johnnie Bryant III told police he went to his neighbor's home around 21:00 Sunday after noticing a car parked on his lawn.

Investigators with the BPO said Officer Bryant told them he drew his gun but pointed it at the ground after ringing the doorbell and being charged by the neighbors' dog.

The neighbors told BPO deputies that Officer Bryant pointed the gun between them and the dog and made threats of violence. They say he identified himself as an officer, but he repeatedly refused to show them a badge.

Officer Bryant was then arrested by the Bluffton Police Office and was charged with two counts of pointing and presenting a firearm.

Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls, while declining to comment on the Bluffton incident pending the ongoing investigation, did say Tuesday that Officer Bryant was a reserve officer with the HCSO and had been suspended from the department pending the outcome of the investigation.

Officer Bryant has been a reserve officer since 2010.  Reserve officers are unpaid in South Carolina.

Island Packet, Hampton County Guardian

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