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Ex-Columbia County code officer stunned at Augusta bar

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A former Columbia County code officer fired last year for entering a home without permission was immobilized with a stun gun by Rich­mond County deputies at a bar early Sunday after he refused an officer’s commands.

According to a police report, James Alan Vowell, 52, of Grovetown, was at Coyotes, 2512 Peach Orchard Road, just after midnight Saturday and was asked to leave. Deputies arrived and found him arguing with the bar owner. As Vowell left the building, Cpl. Ryan DiGiacomo heard him tell a fellow deputy, “Wait until I catch you off duty.”

As officers tried to take Vowell to a patrol car, he spun around and pushed away DiGiacomo’s arm, police said. Vowell then cursed at the officers and said he would not do as they asked.

DiGiacomo stunned Vowell in the chest until he went to the ground.

While placing Vowell under arrest, police found a 9 mm handgun in the waistband of his pants. The owner told officers that weapons are not allowed at his bar.

Vowell faces charges of obstruction of a law enforcement officer and carrying deadly weapons in unauthorized locations.

Vowell made news in July 2012 as a code enforcement officer when he was caught on camera walking into Erica Masters’ Martinez home without permission.

Vowell, who was serving a violation notice for overgrown grass, walked in while Masters was asleep in her bedroom. Vowell later said he entered the home because he was concerned for the homeowner’s safety after noticing several things out of place.

He was not criminally charged because investigators found no criminal intent.

Vowell is also a former sergeant at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. He resigned in 2004 after admitting to taking a computer from the property room. Authorities said an ex-girlfriend tipped off Internal Affairs to the incident.

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SB3
3125
Points
SB3 10/21/13 - 05:39 pm
13
0

Jail him

He obviously believes laws don't apply to him.

Just My Opinion
4700
Points
Just My Opinion 10/22/13 - 04:39 am
11
0

Look, I remember this dude

Look, I remember this dude from way back when I was bar-hopping and he was a deputy. He was a redneck bully then, and it sounds like he still is! Some people just never really grow up. It's sad because if he had devoted himself to be a good LEO, he might be highly ranked now. Instead, his life is going nowhere.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 10/21/13 - 06:17 pm
1
0

He was never any different. Scum floats to the top.

Unpublished

He was never any different. Scum floats to the top.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 10/21/13 - 06:18 pm
1
0

You sleep with dogs you get fleas. Cops and criminals. The thin

Unpublished

blue line. The real thin blue line.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 10/21/13 - 06:21 pm
1
0

And we wonder why the young have no respect for the law? Look

Unpublished

who we hire. Look who we pass around from one county to another. Undoubtedly a free "bat car", a gun, a license to beat people up and unlimited gasoline allowance just ain't enough.

redfish
288
Points
redfish 10/21/13 - 09:18 pm
8
5

I bet he was picked on in high school and...

went into law enforcement so he could have a badge and a gun and tell people what to do. Probably acts like a tough guy to make up for some "shortcomings" if you know what I mean.

The Doc
56
Points
The Doc 10/21/13 - 09:36 pm
7
0

Good job RCSO

Now this deserves reporting! Sounds like a loose cannon. I'm very thankful he didn't make good on his threat to the Deputy.

daviddunagan
326
Points
daviddunagan 10/21/13 - 09:45 pm
6
2

Officer body cams are coming ...

This will give a better picture literally of what really happens during these incidents. Now you just have the usual "he said, she said" testimony and nobody wins. DD

itsanotherday1
34911
Points
itsanotherday1 10/21/13 - 11:07 pm
8
0

Body cams

Video of every official contact between LEO's and the accused should be available, including the probable cause for a traffic stop. That puts a stop to rambo cops and lying perps both. Good cops can do their jobs without worry, and bullies like this Vowell dude won't be a threat to citizens.

wildman
952
Points
wildman 10/22/13 - 04:13 am
8
0

Trouble

Is it him or is it that bad luck follows him? I think it's him. Too bad, we need good honest cops working. Lord knows we have enough bad in this country.

Clemintime
177
Points
Clemintime 10/22/13 - 05:33 am
5
1

This Manchild needs some Time Out

Listened to his explanation on the AR radio show. Unbelievable to say the least.

nocnoc
31155
Points
nocnoc 10/22/13 - 06:21 am
4
5

Well I heard his side of the story yesterday on Austin's show.

As many of you know I tend to side with RCSO in a majority of the cases.

It is my understanding the suspect has a valid GA LEO certification. Which means, he was vindicated in each of the previous incidents after an full IMPARTIAL-INDEPENDENT review conducted by state level authorities.

This fact alone, in itself, casts some legitimate doubt on whether the complete facts were provided to the public in each of the listed previous incidents.

But in this case having heard the suspects version, verses the one being presented and reported. I think this incident needs a STATE LEVEL REVIEW, if for no other reasons than to:

1.) reassure the public we don't have a few wild cards in the RCSO,
2.) vindicate the Deputies honor,
3.) finally void the suspects still valid LEO Cert., if found guilty of a felony.
4.) assure ARC does not have a PORKY's type Night club operation.

BTW:
Given the club owners last name and its association to world famous Augusta BBQ, there is some humor in that.

rmwhitley
5091
Points
rmwhitley 10/22/13 - 06:59 am
0
0

Arrogance

Unpublished

and ignorance it would seem to me.

Riverman1
70893
Points
Riverman1 10/22/13 - 07:34 am
8
1

I take the word of the

I take the word of the current deputies. When Vowell said, "Wait until I catch you off duty," to the officer he knew exactly how that would be taken. The story he presented on the air sure was different than what the officers reported. He said he turned around when the officer grabbed his shoulder. They said they were taking him to the car when he refused. He's trying to make them look bad. I have full confidence that RCSO officers don't tase someone twice without good reason. MCG officer, not so much.

Bizkit
22098
Points
Bizkit 10/22/13 - 08:11 am
4
1

Vowell threatens other

Vowell threatens other officers with violence. Boy he sure tries to look mean but he need to realize- he is a 52 year old obese out of shape dude that a younger officer would likely beat him silly. I know it's tough to admit you are old and can't back it up anymore but everyone has to eat that one day.

Little Lamb
40257
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/13 - 08:31 am
4
3

Weapons Charge

I have questions about the weapons charge as reported (carrying deadly weapons in unauthorized locations). Now the bar is a private business, and the owner can make up rules as to whom he desires to serve (e.g., no shoes, no shirt, no service). But if one walks into the business barefooted, is it a crime? I thought the remedy for violating a rule at a private business would be to leave the business.

Did the business owner make it clear to the public (with signs prominently posted in several locations) that guns (visible and/or concealed) were not allowed in the bar?

Future tip for Mr. Vowell — if a bar employee asks you to leave, it would be a good idea to leave.

GodisSoGood
561
Points
GodisSoGood 10/22/13 - 08:31 am
4
0

Wowwww

Wowwwwwww....we have some real winners in the CSRA.

seenitB4
73030
Points
seenitB4 10/22/13 - 08:46 am
6
0

LIke to be in the news doya?

I take the officer's word too...Next time someone says leave the place...just LEAVE!

lhsparent11
37
Points
lhsparent11 10/22/13 - 08:46 am
4
0

Winners! ^^^^

Yes, we do have some real winners in the CSRA! Some of them even post the same thing 3x just to make their point! LOL!

Riverman1
70893
Points
Riverman1 10/22/13 - 08:51 am
3
1

LL, I do agree with you that

LL, I do agree with you that the weapons charge won't fly. I thought if you had a CWP you could carry in bars and restaurants.

Watermedic
281
Points
Watermedic 10/22/13 - 09:01 am
9
0

Concealed carry

If he was drinking, he broke the law carrying a weapon.

Yes you can go to a bar with a weapon, but no you can not drink.

That will be the end of his ability to carry a weapon outside of his property or vehicle.

Might be a good thing too!

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 10/22/13 - 09:19 am
0
0

What is the Vowell Code(s)? A,E,I, O & Gotch U

Unpublished

What is the Vowell Code(s)? A,E,I, O & Gotch U

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 10/22/13 - 09:23 am
0
0

ARC motorcycle cops are a special breed. Always have been.

Unpublished

From egos befitting their hogs, to comforting other men's lonely wives, to GSW's in the arse, the unsolicited visits to the Farmer's Market in a.m.'s, to the bullying, excessive force by now prominent lawyer,

Riverman1
70893
Points
Riverman1 10/22/13 - 09:28 am
5
2

Wasn't Drinking

He said he wasn't drinking and I don't think he was tested. But it was also interesting the way he went off about the way Sheriff Roundtree had talked to him previously. He said he couldn't repeat the language Roundtree had used. But wasn't Sheriff Strength in office when Vowell got in trouble taking the property? Why would Roundtree be upset with him?

raul
3384
Points
raul 10/22/13 - 09:32 am
4
0

@watermedic. Vowell stated on

@watermedic. Vowell stated on Austin Rhodes show he wasn't drinking. That should be easily validated by the bartender, waitress or other witnesses, one way or the other.

The Doc
56
Points
The Doc 10/22/13 - 11:58 am
5
0

Concealed carry in bars

Concealed carry in bars is off limits under GA law unless you have the bar owner's permission. Churches are also off limits. It is OK to carry in an exstablishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises as long as that is not their primary business, like a restaurant. Active duty LEO's, retired LEO's, and active duty military can carry in bars but that's covered under a separate code section, 16-11-130. Please don't do it! It is tragic when innocent people are charged with crimes. It is also tragic when they commit crimes because they did not know the technical issues in the law. But as you know ignorance of the law is no excuse.

storiesihaveread
332
Points
storiesihaveread 10/22/13 - 11:59 am
6
0

If Vowell

told me it was cloudy outside right now I would go to see for my self. He lied when he stated he did not enter that womans house in Columbia County last year. His story changed when he realized she had him on film. He lied them he will lie again

Riverman1
70893
Points
Riverman1 10/22/13 - 12:35 pm
5
0

The Doc, thanks. I looked it

The Doc, thanks. I looked it up, too. You can't carry in bars unless the owner grants you permission. You are breaking the law if you do. It appears this charge could be valid.

whyme
1089
Points
whyme 10/22/13 - 01:37 pm
1
2

Two Sides

Mr. Vowell gave his side of the situation on the radio and the other side is being presented on this site but we are not actually "hearing" from those who were involved. It is thus difficult, in my opinion, to decide who is telling the truth and who is lying because only one side was verbalized. The other side is not directly delivered by those involved, i.e. the article was not written by those at the scene, given an interview that I've heard, etc. That's what the court is for: for each side to give his side and then go from there. We are not the court and therefore we should not be deciding the guilt or innocence of anyone on here. Potentially damaging to all involved and as we've seen lately, innocent people (and in this case it could be either side) have been written about terribly on these comments sites, totally ignoring the policy above about "robust but respectful conversation...personal attacks..." etc. Hopefully that won't happen in this case but so far things are not off to a good start.

whyme
1089
Points
whyme 10/22/13 - 01:38 pm
1
0

please delete-accidentally

please delete-accidentally hit "save" twice!

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