COPS TASER FORMER SHERIFF’S SERGEANT AT COYOTE’S BAR:
A former property-crimes sergeant was tasered outside Coyote’s bar in Augusta early Sunday and arrested for obstructing an officer and bringing a gun into the bar.
The suspect, Jimmy Vowell Jr., is also the man who made national headlines for walking into a woman’s home without permission in Columbia County, where he worked as a code enforcement officer.
On Saturday night, Vowell was arguing with club owner Charlie Sconyers and began to leave the bar. But he stopped and told a deputy “wait until I catch you off duty,” according to a sheriff’s report.
Sheriff’s Cpl. Ryan DiGiacomo tried to arrest Vowell for the comment, but Vowell pushed the officer and cursed at him, a report says.
“Cpl. DiGiacomo then tasered the arrested suspect in the chest area until the arrested suspect went down to the ground,” the report says.
Deputies then discovered that Vowell was carrying a 9mm handgun in his waist despite the club’s no-guns policy.
Reached by phone, Vowell said his comment to the deputy was not a threat but a comment that he would talk with him later. Vowell said the corporal who tasered him put his hand on his shoulder and then immediately shot him with the stun gun once he turned around.
” When I turn around to see who grabbed me on my shoulder. … he already had that taser out,” Vowell said.
Vowell said he was not drinking and had been asked by Sconyers to help keep a woman away from a deputy. He left when things got heated, he said.
“I was trying to help someone and then I got my ass hung out to dry,” Vowell said.
Vowell, 52, of Grovetown, was charged with carrying deadly weapons in unauthorized locations and misdemeanor obstruction of a law enforcement officer. He is free on bond.
Vowell said he has a permit for his concealed weapon and carries it because of threats from a motorcycle gang. He said Coyote’s does not have a posted policy that says “no guns.”
An incident report says Vowell currently works for the Augusta Fire Protection Inc., where a woman answering the phone said she had not heard about his arrest.
Vowell was a RCSO sergeant and head of the property crimes division when he resigned in 2004 after admitting he took a computer from the property room. His ex-girlfriend ratted on him, and when Vowell returned the computer, the serial numbers were scratched out, according to media reports.
More recently, he made national news when he was caught on surveillance camera walking into a Martinez home uninvited while working code enforcement. He was subsequently fired.