Posted by shadmia on August 21, 2009
Take a good look at the picture of the waitress. She is cute, some might even say sexy, sitting on a police car, holding a rifle. This picture could easily adorn the bedroom wall of many a hotblooded male. Well, there are six people who wish that that particular photo had never been taken.
That picture caused the firing of one police deputy; three others received 3-day suspensions without pay; another received a letter of reprimand. It also left Midland Sheriff Gary Painter more than just a little bit embarrassed.
The picture was taken at the Twin Peaks Restaurant — where waitresses typically wear halter tops and short shorts — at 100 Louis Henna Blvd., Round Rock, Tx. The restaurant promotes its “fun, friendly and sometimes flirty atmosphere!”
A group of Midland County deputies were in Round Rock for training when they decided to stop by the Twin Peaks restaurant for drinks. There they met a waitress named “Bambi” – her real name is Vanda Purvis – and after between 3 to 5 beers each, they invited her out into the parking lot to pose for them with an AR-15 assault rifle.
An off-duty Manor police officer, Brian Wells, was passing by and saw the plain-clothed deputies hand the waitress the assault rifle. He flagged down one of Round Rock’s officers and told them what he saw.
That was when all hell broke loose.
According to the incident report several Round Rock police officers swarmed the area after hearing about the assault rifle.
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter said in a news conference: “They did exactly what they were supposed to do” and that his deputies would have done the same thing if an AR-15 was being carried around like that.
Painter was particularly irked by part of the incident report, where it stated two of the deputies, Evans and Wright, told a Round Rock investigator “they would hope for some form of professional courtesy” while questioning them.
“I am very embarrassed by what had happened, and I am very hurt at the same time,” Painter said. “In this particular incident, people got stupid, pretty quick. I am mortified by it.”
Painter said it would have been a “knee-jerk reaction” to fire all of the deputies involved. Instead, he interviewed each deputy separately and doled out reprimands based on the deputies’ participation in the incident.
Sheriff Gary Painter said he fired deputy Daniel Subia for giving the waitress the assault rifle. Deputies Miguel Ramos, Chris Evans and Ron Wright were given three days off the job without pay. Deputy Art Nunez, who stayed inside the Twin Peaks restaurant that night, was given a written reprimand for his role in what Painter called an “embarrassment” for the sheriff’s department.
Eric Poteet, a spokesman for Round Rock police, said they did not charge the deputies because no crime was committed. Dee Hobbs, chief of the criminal division of the Williamson County attorney’s office, had said the officers could have faced charges of disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail.
Twin Peaks is a restaurant chain that advertises itself as having “twice as much fun as other restaurants” on its website, placing that phrase next to a model dressed in a crop top holding a mug of beer and a meal in a basket. Twin Peaks restaurant manager Sam Baiocco declined comment.
The photo was taken with a camera belonging to the Midland County Sheriff’s office and Painter, while showing it, said: “I don’t think it was worth somebody’s job“.
I wonder if the deputies were planning to drive after their “3 to 5 beers each” and would they have asked for “some form of professional courtesy” if they were stopped.