Three Brown County sheriff’s deputies were given commendations Monday at Commissioner’s Court for going “above and beyond the call of duty” in a Jan. 5 incident.
Sheriff Bobby Grubbs presented plaques to Wayne Coffman, Courthouse Security Officer, and sheriff’s Sgt. Tony Aaron and Sgt. David Mercer. Grubbs told commissioners that “working as a team, they did an excellent job in taking care of a situation that could have ended up being a lot worse.”
According to a Bulletin story on Jan. 5, Terry Shafer, 53, was in the office of Shafer’s probation officer, Robert Allsup. Coffman approached Shafer to serve an arrest warrant for failure to appear in court, and Shafer reached under his coat and pulled the knife, telling officers he “wasn’t going to jail. Go ahead and shoot me.”
Expecting Shafer to pull a gun, instead of a knife, Coffman unsnapped his gun holster. Then, when Shafer stood up, Coffman drew his pistol. Meanwhile probation director Joe Shaw walked the few feet to the district attorney’s office and summoned help from sheriff’s deputies there, including Mercer.
Mercer shot two Taser bolts at Shafer, but both charges failed to penetrate his jacket. Aaron, who knew Shafer from previous incidents, arrived and convinced him to put down the knife and surrender so they could get him some help.
“Let’s talk about this,” Aaron told Shafer. Later from jail, Shafer said he had been at the “end of his rope” and “everything went south” when he knew he was going to be served with the warrant. Aaron, Shafer said, talked him out of doing anything to hurt anybody.
“He’s always been straight up,” Shafer said in the jail interview last January.
Incidents like the one involving the three deputies and the desperate man can be touch and go, Grubbs said.
“I’m proud of what these three men did, how they worked as a team and I want them to get some recognition for it,” Grubbs said.
In other action:
Commissioners approved $921.48 in travel advance for County Court-at-Law Judge Frank Griffin to attend training for presiding over Driving While Intoxicated cases. Expenses for the July seminar, hosted by the National Highway Traffic Administration will be reimbursed, Griffin told commissioners, but said he did not know if the reimbursement would come before budget planning. Signed off on the re-plat of Peninsula and Spillway Park Subdivision at Lake Brownwood and accepted roads as county roads. The Brown County Water Improvement District executive director, John Chisholm, said to the commissioners the district is moving toward selling the land it currently has for lease, and doing so will warrant having a correct and current plat.
Chisholm said the district would honor all of its current leases, but as each lease runs out the renter’s option will be to buy the property or sign a five-year lease at a market-value calculated higher rate.