Off-duty officer pulls gun in Oswego Wal-Mart
By Matt Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org February 6, 2012 10:42AM
Updated: April 7, 2012 1:56AM
The Kendall County sheriff’s office is conducting an internal investigation after an off-duty deputy pulled out his weapon during an argument with a customer in a Wal-Mart check-out line Sunday afternoon.
According to Oswego police, a 38-year-old Montgomery man shoved the deputy at 12:04 p.m., prompting the deputy to pull out his gun. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
The customer, Jason Thurmond, 0-99 block of Fieldpoint Road, was charged with misdemeanor battery for shoving the deputy, police said.
The officer was identified in the report, but is not being named by The Beacon-News because he is a victim of an alleged battery.
Kendall County Sgt. Joe Jasnosz said as of Monday afternoon, the veteran deputy remained on active duty with his regular assignments.
Jasnosz said the sheriff’s office takes the conduct of off-duty and on-duty officers “very seriously” and said they will conduct a thorough investigation to make the sure the deputy’s actions were consistent with the department’s policies. Jasnosz did not know how long the investigation might take.
Oswego police said they responded to a call from citizens for a man with a gun in the store at 2300 Route 34.
Thurmond said he and his wife were doing their Super Bowl shopping at the Wal-Mart Sunday afternoon. The store was crowded and the lines were long, Thurmond said.
Thurmond realized they had forgotten eggs and stepped out of line to get them while his wife was being rung up, he said. When he returned, Thurmond said his wife, who is nine months pregnant, looked upset and the deputy was yelling at her. The deputy was in line behind Thurmond and his wife.
Thurmond said the deputy was complaining they were holding up the line. Thurmond told him to leave his wife alone and go to another line if he was that impatient. At that point, Thurmond, who is 5-foot-5 and 355 pounds, according to court records, said the off-duty deputy stepped toward him.
Thurmond admitted he then shoved the deputy. At that point, the officer pulled out his gun and pointed it at Thurmond’s chest, Thurmond said.
Thurmond said customers were running and screaming. Some were taking pictures with their phones and someone called 911.
“I didn’t know he was a police officer,” Thurmond said. “I’m thinking it’s a guy with a gun. I didn’t know he was a cop.”
Thurmond said the deputy was wearing jeans and a black jacket. Oswego police confirmed the deputy was not in uniform.
Thurmond said a Wal-Mart employee asked the deputy to show a badge if he was a police officer, which he did. Oswego police responded a short time later.
After making statements to investigators, Thurmond was arrested and charged with battery for shoving the officer. His wife bailed him out later that day, he said.
Thurmond said the entire experience rattled him.
“I can’t stop thinking about it,” he said. “I never had a gun pointed at me before. All I was doing was defending my wife.”
Oswego Police Detective Rob Sherwood said his department’s investigation showed Thurmond did not know the deputy was a police officer because he was not wearing his uniform. Had Thurmond known he was a police officer and still chosen to shove him, he could have been charged with a felony.
Sherwood said Oswego has closed the investigation, which ends at the battery charges. No other charges are expected. No one was injured in the incident.