Oswego man describes gun incident with off-duty deputy

May 5, 2012 8:49:07 PM PDT
An off-duty sheriff's deputy has been accused of pointing a gun at a man at Walmart in the Kendall County community of Oswego.

The incident happened on Super Bowl Sunday and the man who had the gun pointed at him is speaking out after surveillance tape of the incident was released.

"It was just so frightening," NicoleThurmond said. "I was just afraid that if he flinched the wrong way he was going to shoot."

It's been nearly three months since the altercation with an off-duty sheriff's deputy led to the officer pulling a gun out on them inside an Oswego Walmart. Surveillance video released by Walmart shows at least part of that incident.

"There is nothing showing him harassing my wife, nothing showing him in my face," Jason Thurmond said "It just shows me pushing him. I find it quite funny."

Jason and Nicole Thurmond said it all started when they were checking out some groceries they'd purchased for a Super Bowl party. What the tape doesn't show say the couple is when a man started verbally harassing Ncole for checking out too many groceries in an express line.

"He was being very intimidating," Nicole Thurmond said. "He was very close. There was nowhere to wiggle away from him."

Jason, who said he had gone to get some eggs, came back, saw what was happening and tried to diffuse the situation. But that's not what happened.

"He came almost chest to chest with me, and it was a response, I just pushed him back," Jason Thurmond said.

In the surveillance video released to ABC7, you don't see the push. What you do see is a man pulling a gun, and Jason Thurmond holding up his hands.

"He took about two steps back and drew a gun on me and I froze," Jason Thurmond said. "He hadn't identified himself, he was just a strange man waving a gun in a store. One of the cashiers yelled, if you're a police officer you need to show a badge."

As it turns out, the man with the gun was a Kendall County sheriff's deputy. The tape shows other Walmart customers taking cover. A couple of minutes later, Oswego police come in.

But it was Jason Thurmond who was arrested. He's now charged with misdemeanor battery.

A spokesperson for the Kendall County Sheriff's Department said there is an internal investigation into the deputy involved in the incident. And they confirm he remains on-duty while the investigation continues.

"I would hope he loses his job," Jason Thurmond said. "For someone to pull a gun that quick and easy, he's obviously too much of a hothead to be carrying a weapon."

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