HOUSTON, TEXAS — One concealed carrier is in hot water and faces assault charges after an off-duty Houston police officer accused him of pointing his handgun at him twice during an interaction. Thankfully, it just may be a gas station’s surveillance video footage that saves his hide.
According to KHOU, the police officer claims the man repeatedly pointed his gun at him but video footage shows a different story. The man in question claimed that he had to use the bathroom when he pulled into the gas station and when he opened his truck door, his pistol fell out. Video footage corroborates the fact that it looks like he is attempting to recover a fallen gun when the police officer draws down on him.
“I put my hands up like, ‘Sir,’ I apologized right away,” Carmona said. “’Sir, I apologize,’ because the first thing that come to my mind, I dropped a gun in front of an officer, without even knowing.”
The officer obviously didn’t see it the way this concealed carrier described and he is presently being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
When we reviewed the video, it looked pretty much like the concealed carrier described but there were more than a few critical mistakes he made during the police interaction that could have cost him his life.
First, acknowledge that a mistake has been made. The guy pulls into a convenience store and bathroom emergency or not, he pulled in at a near perpendicular angle to the actual parking spot. That’s going to raise suspicion to an onlooking police officer.
Secondly, when he exited the vehicle, his gun fell out. That’s failure to secure a firearm. That’s not a crime but it is a dumb move — especially in front of a police officer.
And lastly, he clearly reached for his pocket after being confronted by a police officer with a firearm drawn and pointed at him. That’s about as stupid as it gets.
It does not appear that this concealed carrier knowingly placed that police officer in harm’s way — but that’s not a risk any police officer is going to willingly take. As concealed carriers, we have to understand that perception plays a huge role in how smoothly police interactions go.
How would I have handled it?
Well, first I’d keep my concealed carry pistol holstered on my person.
If, for some mysterious reason, that didn’t work, I’d go ahead and leave it where it is on the ground and keep my hands where the police officer can see them. At this point in the game, that police officer is leading the dance and there’s absolutely no point to apologizing or trying to recover. He’s probably going to want to see my CHL and he’s probably going to want me to keep my hands where he can see them until he can verify my intentions and the validity of my permit. That’s the nature of that beast.
Do I necessarily like it? No.
But, then again, if I don’t want to be stuck in that situation, I should do my best to stay out of it.
This concealed carrier, in my opinion, messed up. The aggravated assault charge seems somewhat unnecessary but I also know that Houston police officers (Texan law enforcement, in general) have absolutely no sense of humor when it comes to seeing guns coming out.
Take a look at the video enclosed in the link to KHOU and tell us what you think. And stay safe out there.