Douglas County deputy may resign following ruling
Appeal Staff Writer
A Douglas County deputy said Tuesday he may turn in his badge to save the department the trouble of an investigation after he was found guilty of a misdemeanor brandishing charge.
“I will most likely resign from the Sheriff’s Department and not put an elected official in this position with the public,” Deputy Adam Spoon said.
After a day of testimony Friday, Judge Steve McMorris found Spoon guilty of illegally pointing a weapon at a California couple during a traffic dispute. Spoon was in his civilian vehicle and off-duty at the time of the Sept. 24 incident.
According to court documents, the victim, Sean Bowers said he was being tailgated by Spoon northbound on Carson Street. At the light at Carson and William streets, as Spoon drove past in the turn lane, Bowers said he hollered at Spoon about tailgating.
Spoon then backed up his vehicle and Bowers said something about “people” getting shot. The men began arguing in traffic. At some point, Spoon pointed a gun at Bowers.
Spoon said in retrospect, he wishes he hadn’t backed up.
“If I could do it over again, I would just ignore him,” he said.
But he defends pulling his weapon. He said he was in fear for his life.
“He was acting violent at the time,” Spoon said, describing Bowers as being enraged and appearing as if he was going to step off the bike.
“He said, ‘You’re gonna get shot,’ and then he rested the bike on the kick stand and started to take his hands off the handlebars – that’s when I drew (my weapon),” Spoon explained.
Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said an internal investigation into whether Spoon will be suspended or fired was put on hold until the criminal case was completed. Now that a judicial ruling has been made, Pierini expects a fairly rapid decision on Spoon’s fate.
“We take this extremely serious,” he said. “We should have it all resolved by the end of this week.”
Pierini said Spoon has 10 days after the decision to appeal the action.
“I don’t want to resign. I thought I’d retire from the department, but I also don’t want to drag them through anymore than they already have been through,” Spoon said.
“I’ve wanted to tell my side. I feel like I’ve been portrayed as a badge-heavy guy that was out to sling his gun around town, and that’s not what happened.”
— Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.