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Affidavit reveals Temple PD arrest of Grisham was all about attitude

Temple – Following a fortnight’s wrangle over an open records request, Temple police released a probable cause affidavit that reveals an officer’s reasons for arresting Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham for carrying an loaded AR-15 on a rural road near this city’s airport.

Officer Steve Ermis was first to arrive when dispatchers sent he and two other officers to check out two “suspicious male subjects” – “and one of the subjects was armed.”

When he pulled his squad car behind the two – Grisham and his son, a Boy Scout – “The male subject looked back and saw officer Ermis but continued to walk West…”

The father-son team was on a ten-mile hike that Saturday, March 16, around noon.

The police officer “could see what appeared to be the barrel of a rifle on one side of the male subject and what appeared to be the butt stock of the rifle on the other side of the person. The weapon appeared to be slung on the person’s chest or around his neck.”

He could see the weapon was loaded because the magazine was inserted and it has small windows that allow one to see if there are cartridges in place.

“The male with the rifle had his hands in the area of the loaded rifle.”

At that point, “Officer Ermis decided for officer safety and the safety of the subject with the rifle and the other male to disarm the subject.”

Ermis stepped forward to take control of the gun. That’s when “the subject began to become angry and irate and yelling that he had broken no law and officer was not going to take his gun.” He mentioned that he had a concealed carry handgun license.

By then, the other two officers were on the scene, and “Officer Ermis reached to control the loaded rifle the subject at this point started physically trying to pull back from Officer Ermis attempting to keep the subject from being able to get access to the rifle and also grabbed the subject to maintain physical control of the subject.”

He drew his sidearm and pointed it at Grisham, according to the affidavit. When the other two officers arrived, he put it back in the holster.

“The subject still had to be forcibly handcuffed.”

In the laconic words of the affidavit, “It was learned at that point that the subject had a pistol on his waist covered by his shirt.” He took that weapon as well.

Though it was learned that Grisham has a Texas Concealed Handgun License, the officers kept the pistol and the rifle. They have not yet returned the weapons.

The County Attorney revised the original charge of resisting arrest to one of interfering with an officer pursuing an investigation.

Temple Police have maintained a death grip on offense and arrest reports. An individual named Mr. Guess is particularly zealous about withholding information, according to R.S. Gates, who has initiated all public information act requests in the matter.

“You ought to see him roll his eyes at me,” he said. “This is what any police officer would call a case of pissing off police, or, that’s what you call ‘contempt of cop,’” said Gates, who is himself a veteran of police work.

A request for 911 tapes and police logs has been appealed to the Open Records Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

Grisham has made public his intentions to pursue a civil suit in redress to the perceived violation of his civil rights.

It’s all on a video he had his son make of the arrest. Grisham has been an active videographer of public policy issues at former duty stations, most recently at Huntsville, Alabama’s Red Stone Arsenal.

Photo: Grisham and his A Soldier’s Perspective blog were the subjects of a feature article in the December 2009 edition of ArmyTimes entitled The rise and fall of a military blogger.

Additional Watchdog Wire coverage:

Temple, other Texas cities/counties asked to bolster Second Amendment protections

Temple mayor denies gun rights affirmation; resolution supporter arrested in separate incident

Video released of Central Texas soldier’s ‘resisting arrest’ incident

Potential civil lawsuit increases taxpayer interests in Central Texas soldier’s ‘resisting arrest’ case

Jim Parks

Jim Parks is a former journeyman print reporter with experience on dailies from California to southern Florida, and throughout Texas.

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