A Richmond County cop is out of a job after being arrested for instigating a fight at a bar over the weekend. Richmond County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) deputy Thomas Andrews was fired Monday after being arrested according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
The news release stated that an RCSO deputy was working a special detail at the Washington Road Country Club when he noticed a man punching another man in the face early Saturday morning. According to WJBF, the man who threw the first punch was identified as deputy Thomas Andrews. The Augusta Chronicle reports that Andrews was off-duty at the time of the incident. The Chronicle reports that after Andrews threw the first punch, the pair began fighting. The deputy working the detail stepped in to break up the fight. The man struck by the off-duty cop was identified as Austin Kyles of Aiken. A third individual was also detain in the fray, Allen Lemonds of Virginia Beach, Va.
The on-duty deputy was able to regain control of the situation and arrested all three subjects. A resulting investigation, eyewitness accounts, and surveillance footage confirmed that Andrews threw the first punch and was charged with affray. Kyles is being charged with disorderly conduct. Lemonds is also being charged with disorderly conduct after being caught on camera pushing another man during the fracas.
The press release from the Public Information Officer of the RCSO added that Kyles did sustain injuries from the fight with Andrews. The now former deputy is also said to have suffered some minor injuries form the altercation.
Andrews is no stranger to aggression. In 2016 Andrews was suspended three days without pay for unnecessary force and failure to activate his body worn camera right away in the arrest of assault suspect Deon Hamilton.
Andrews is your run-of-the-mill, MAGA hat wearing, southern bred, bigot with a badge. Earlier in 2016, Andrews attended one of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign rallies where he was involved in a scuffle which led to a protester being escorted from the venue. According to ABC News, Trump invited the “off-duty” sheriff’s deputy on stage.
“I got two tours of Iraq,” Andrews said into the microphone to a loud ovation. “If it wasn’t for Mr. Trump right here, I don’t think any of us [veterans] would have the voice that we have.”
“This is the only man that’s going to really bring America back,” Andrews said as he stood beside the smiling presidential candidate.
Andrews, who retired after eight years in the Navy, told ABC News “It was pretty cool. I’ve never been to a presidential rally. I wasn’t expecting anything like that, that’s for damn sure.”
We are already aware that the Trump administration backs heavy handed tactics utilized by police by his own admission and by the stance of the Justice Dept choosing to no longer follow through on civil rights investigations of police departments around the country.
Lucky for the people of Richmond County, especially minorities, Andrews is no longer protected by the badge but he will just as easily pick up a gig elsewhere with a glowing recommendation from his former employer.
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