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06-26-06, 12:42 PM #1
PBSO Deputy pulls gun on other deputies...
PBSO Deputy pulls gun on other deputies responding to noise complaint...
Deputy charged with threatening colleague with gun
By Nicole Janok
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 26, 2006
A Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy serving as a disc jockey at a neighbor's birthday party was arrested Saturday night after he allegedly pulled a gun on a fellow deputy responding to a complaint about loud music.
Howard E. Howell, 39, was charged with aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence, obstruction of justice and violation of a county noise ordinance.
The incident occurred after two sheriff's deputies and a 17-year-old with the office's Explorer Program responded to a noise complaint at 12483 68th St. N. in suburban West Palm Beach, according to a sheriff's report. Howell was in the back yard, helping out as the disc jockey for his neighbor's 16th birthday, when deputies asked him several times to turn down the music, the report said.
Howell laughed at the deputies and said, "Who the (expletive) are you? Don't yell at me, I'm a deputy, I don't have to do (expletive)," the report said.
Howell leaned toward deputy John Dougan with closed fists and continued yelling obscenities, and Dougan pepper-sprayed him, the report said.
Off-duty deputy Clinton Cohen, who attended the party, took Howell inside to wash the pepper spray off his face.
When Howell came back outside the home, he told deputy Matthew Wood, who responded to the scene with Dougan, that he wanted to kill Dougan, the report said. Howell then allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband.
Wood drew his gun and ordered Howell to put his gun down. Dougan and Explorer Adam Avey did not see Howell pull the gun, the report said.
Deputies believe that Howell had been drinking, which may have contributed to his aggressive behavior, sheriff's spokesman Pete Palenzuela said. "He was apparently under the influence, because he wasn't behaving rationally," Palenzuela said.
The sheriff's office was not able to pull Howell's personnel file to determine whether he has a history of violent or aggressive behavior, Palenzuela said. "At this point, we don't know if he's a hothead or not," Palenzuela said.
But Courtney Spence, the homeowner who threw the party for his son, Steven, said the deputies, not Howell, were the aggressors.
Spence, 41, said he is "disgusted and shocked" at the way the deputies reacted to a minor noise complaint. He plans to file a formal complaint with the sheriff's office.
When deputies arrived late Saturday night, Spence said, about 12 people were sitting on the back patio listening to "romantic music" that Howell was sampling for an upcoming wedding that he planned to DJ.
Spence said the deputies disregarded him and his wife, Elaine, and went straight to Howell, who was standing near the booming speakers. The deputies were rude to Howell, who told Wood and Dougan that he was a deputy, and that's when the chaos began, Spence said.
"They came onto the property in such an aggressive manner, you would think they were ready for war," he said.
Howell did not use obscenities toward the deputies until he was pepper-sprayed, Spence added.
"Mr. Howell was upset and he was cursing," Spence said. "Who wouldn't be if someone pepper-sprayed you in the eye? But at no time did he make any threat to the officers."
Spence was standing near Howell after he was pepper-sprayed and said he never saw Howell pull a gun. Instead, Spence said, Howell was lifting up his shirt to wipe his face when he heard a deputy yell, "Gun!"
"I'm like, 'What's going on here?' " Spence said. "It became a big fiasco."
The violent crimes task force and internal affairs are investigating. Howell will be placed on paid administrative leave while the investigations continue.
Howell said Sunday evening that he would not comment until he retains an attorney.In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.
In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.
Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.
I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.
The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.
06-26-06, 01:53 PM #2
And the dumb bunny award goes to.....
We are the thin blue line
and all the money in the world.
And no you can't have any.
06-26-06, 01:58 PM #3
Well, I guess next time he plays loud music, he won't be able to use his Deputy card to keep himself out of trouble
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