A foul-mouthed Kansas deputy named Vance Williams was suspended after he was caught on video threatening to unlawfully arrest a citizen for asking him a mere question.
But it was the language that got him suspended, not the threat of unlawful arrest, that latter which was not addressed by the sheriff or the local media.
Williams, a former middle school principal who has only been with the Harper County Sheriff’s Office for six months, apologized for his behavior, saying it was his lack of experience that drove him to act like a bullying thug with a badge.
That and the his insistence that he was not even in his jurisdiction, which should give him even less reason to threaten people with arrest for asking simple questions.
Earlier this week, Williams was at the scene of a neighbor dispute over a stolen television set and apparently decided not to make an arrest, even though a woman admitted to stealing the television.
That was when Jeff Jacobs, a neighbor who was recording the scene, asked the deputy why the woman was not being detained.
“Why the fuck am I talking to you?” Williams responded.
“Because I was curious,” Jacobs replied.
“I don’t need anything from you. This is not my fucking jurisdiction, you understand that?”
Williams then demanded he “get down and give me your drivers license.”
When Jacobs said he did not have it on him, Williams replied with the following:
“Say something else to me, and we will see where this goes. Open your fucking mouth and say something else. This is not my, take your fucking sunglasses off now. Hat off. Give me your identification.
“You want to spend your night in the fucking poke because you can’t shut your fucking mouth. Walk! Enjoy your walk.”
Williams told local news KSN.com that he was “provoked” into acting like a bullying thug and Harper County Sheriff Tracy Chance said he was disappointed that Jacobs chose to post the video to Youtube rather than send it to him beforehand.
“We were being provoked somewhat, not just me it was one individual towards the other ones there,” said Williams.
The deputy said he’s sorry for the exchange and says this has been a learning experience. He’s been with the department for about 6 months, after changing careers from teaching and administration. He told KSN that his inexperience contributed to his response.
“I believe the whole story wasn’t aired for everybody to see,” said Sheriff Tracy Chance, who said he knows that deputies can respond to calls that become intense. But he said the language is inexcusable.
“As far as the language goes, yeah I don’t agree with it and I’ve dealt with that,” said Sheriff Chance.
Neither Sheriff Chance or Williams wanted to say how long the suspension would last, but Chance said he wished the residents would have come to him with concerns first.
“This video was never sent to me, It was just thrown on social media and then I started getting phone calls,” said Chance. “My door is always open. I will sit and talk to ya.”
Sheriff Chance said he will take the opportunity to train Williams into not making a viral spectacle of himself and the department.
Prior to switching careers and becoming a deputy, Williams was the principal of Conway Springs Middle School in Kansas where he made about $75,000-a-year.
Now he makes about $43,000, according to a site that determines the average salary for occupations by state.