The System Works: Deputy Who Randomly Fired His Gun Through His Windshield Into Rush Hour Traffic Fined $2

from the making-the-least-of-a-learning-experience dept

This is the story of a person who should have never been allowed to be a law enforcement officer. He wasn't one for long, but he was one long enough to do something so batshit crazy, it nearly requires the suspension of disbelief asked of us by fiction writers.

Noah Arwine is no longer a sheriff's deputy. But while was still a deputy, he did this:

On Nov. 2, 2018, Arnwine was riding back from an inmate transport in the passenger seat of a county cruiser when the then-19-year-old pulled out his personal .38-caliber Ruger, emptied all but one chamber, pointed the gun at the windshield and pulled the trigger "as if he was playing Russian roulette," according to his partner.

The bullet pierced the cruiser's windshield and whizzed into traffic during rush hour on Interstate 75 North near the Philadelphia, Tennessee, exit.

His co-worker, Deputy Cody Lankford, responded with more composure than most people would in this exceptionally novel situation. He slowed down the vehicle, tried to see if any drivers had been shot, and drove back to the Sheriff's Office to report this incredible (in all the worst ways) incident. Perhaps Lankford showed too much composure.

"It really freaked me out, but I don’t think anybody got hurt. It’s just the principle that he’s that stupid, and it kind of worries me."

This is just the beginning of a long list of almost-unbelievable events in this story. As stated above, Arnwine is no longer employed by the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department. But he was not fired for this incident… you know, the one that involved firing a live bullet through the windshield of a police cruiser into rush hour traffic. Not for a lack of trying by concerned supervisors.

This shooting was reported to (now-former) Assistant Chief Deputy Mark Ellis. Ellis recommended Arwine be fired and charged with a felony. This did not happen. Sheriff Bob Brooks chose to overlook this incident almost entirely. Perhaps this was due to Arwine's stepmother being the Sheriff's secretary. Or perhaps because Arwine's father, a State Trooper, used to work with the sheriff.

Instead, Sheriff Brooks decided to fire the messenger.

Ellis said the sheriff ignored his advice, kept the shooting quiet and instead forced Ellis out over a struggle with a jail inmate. That struggle, which ended when Ellis used a stun gun to subdue the inmate as he fought with half a dozen officers, led to Ellis' indictment on charges of assault and official oppression.

Sheriff Brooks denies any of this happened the way Ellis said it happened. But his explanation is actually worse.

The sheriff, for his part, called Ellis a "full-blown liar," said he never saw a recommendation Arnwine be fired and downplayed the shooting as an accident that didn't need investigating.

"It must be a slow news day if you're asking about this," Brooks told Knox News when first asked about the shooting.

It apparently was never investigated, at least not by the Sheriff's office. Arwine remained on the force for nine months, only to be fired shortly after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started looking into deputy's in-car shooting. But even this firing had nothing to do with Arwine's passenger seat Roulette game.

Brooks, who took office just after his predecessor was indicted, said the timing was a coincidence and that he fired Arnwine for refusing an order to go to a jail tower.

Maybe so. (And if so, what the fuck. The shooting seems like a way more "fireable" offense.) But it's the ride-along gunfire that actually netted Arwine a criminal charge. This debacle has finally come to an end. Unfortunately, the system continues to bestow its blessings on the ex-deputy who certainly hasn't earned all the grace he's been granted. Arwine is paying for his LEO sins, but he'll still get change back from his $5.

Noah Arnwine, now 21, turned himself in to be booked into the Loudon County jail on a warrant for felony reckless endangerment. He promptly stood before a judge, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of the same charge, paid his fine of $2 and walked away with 11 months, 29 days of unsupervised probation. He also will be required to perform community service and take a gun safety course.

All this tells citizens is that their lives are worth about $2 if a deputy chooses to fire a bullet from a Sheriff's Office car into rush hour traffic. Arwine is going to be able to find another law enforcement agency to work for since misdemeanors are rarely an impediment to cops and their careers. And that's if anyone even bothers to do a background check. Chances are, the records of this incident will be excised from Arwine's permanent record, allowing him to continue serving the public as a loose cannon until someone in that ultra-forgiving occupation finally tires of his antics.

Filed Under: law enforcement, mark ellis, noah arwine, police, sheriff bob brooks, tennessee


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  • identicon
    Dr evil, 24 Apr 2020 @ 2:14pm

    Red flag

    Anyone else would have gotten a red flag weapons confiscation against him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2020 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Red flag

      Imagine if it had been a citizen who did it near a sheriff deputy vehicle. No court in the country would fault them for responding with deadly force, yet when an idiot with a badge does it, it gets covered up and ignored until someone forces them to legally do something about it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 3:21pm

        Re: Re: Red flag

        It's especially ludicrous when you consider that the law regarding negligent discharge of a firearm is the same for deputies as it is for any other citizen. Police only get excused when they fire their guns under the necessity doctrine, and shooting into a crowd was not necessary.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Apr 2020 @ 2:16pm

    Just a few bad apples...
    the problem is they are in charge of the barrel & don't have to care b/c nothing bad ever happens to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2020 @ 7:12pm

      Re:

      This tree is rotten at the roots, no matter how many good cops there are, if the Sheriff himself is a corrupt cronyist then the department is dysfunctional throughout. Can't have a Captain onboard who keeps poking holes in the boat.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        R.H. (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Don't forget that County Sheriff is an elected position. If the Sheriff is corrupt and/or incompetent it's on the citizens of the county to remove them at the next election.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Apr 2020 @ 12:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          ^This.

          Any LEO abusing their powers is an abomination and needs to be removed post haste. But the sheriff is a different animal because the sheriff's an elected LEO.

          And that's a problem in a nation where voter apathy is so high only the vested interests remain to cast ballots. Usually the extremist crowd. As long as the sheriff always kowtows to the mover and shakers of the community who DO cast those ballots, they don't give a rat's ass if he skims from the till or has the back of whatever inbred relatives he's chosen to give a cushy job.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2020 @ 2:19pm

    I wonder how long before he shoots, maybe even kills someone? Then i wonder what excuse the judge who gave this ridiculous 'punishment' will use to justify his stupidity? Probably wont even think twice about it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      The judge doesn't have to. Judges have absolute immunity to civil lawsuits. Not because the law says they do, but because other judges will simply refuse to hear the case.

      Corruption at its finest, enshrined in case law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2020 @ 9:09am

      Re:

      Considering these pigs get away with MURDER all the time, the punishment would be nothing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 24 Apr 2020 @ 2:24pm

    He also will be required to perform community service and take a gun safety course.

    Wait...with all the gun training he had to take to become a law enforcement officer, a field which loudly and repeatedly likes to claim only it can be trusted with firearms, yet they think a gun safety class will fix his behavior???

    How about banning him from ever owning a firearm again?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2020 @ 3:10pm

      Re: superior beings

      ...com'on, everyone knows that cops are superior human beings, carefully selected from the top 10% of the population.

      County Sherriffs are from top 1% -- in IQ, physical skills, and personal integrity.

      This "fired" cop Noah will be rehired by some other police department, after his little refresher course on gun safety.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 1:32am

      Re:

      That would be nice. If he needs additional training to understand why that was dangerous, I'd question his ability to responsibly own a super soaker.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 3:24pm

      Re:

      It's the party line of the police unions that the only reason cops ever commit wrongdoing is because of a flaw in their training, therefore the remedy is to simply give them more training.

      Never mind that non-cops also have gaps in their training, that can cause them to do illegal things in error. The system has no problems convicting them as the vicious criminals they 'are'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sharur, 24 Apr 2020 @ 4:22pm

    11 months, 29 days is probably the maximum "under a year" for a misdemeanor (and the fact that this was a misdemeanor is certainly leniency, undoubtedly greater than standard "leniency for guilty plea").

    But where does the $2 fine come from? Was it the cost of the expended ammunition or something? At least fine him for the cost of replacing/repairing the windshield.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 24 Apr 2020 @ 7:18pm

    $2

    Well at least they made him pay for the bullet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 5:02am

    Justice has been served

    Well, with a fine like that on the books I'd say the chance that anyone else with a badge will show utter indifference towards the lives of those around them just shrunk to zero. What deputy will even think of showing anything less than perfect gun safety when they face the possibility of not one but two dollars coming out of their wallet(eventually)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 9:44am

    I hope he ends up in Mayberry. They’ll let him be a deputy but he’ll have to keep his bullet in his pocket.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 1:03pm

    HOw many counts here..

    Personal weapon, While working, and While being on duty?

    Gun safety course?? DIDNT they do that when he was hired?? NO TRAINING..at all.
    No gun experience.

    1 officer gets fired, after an incidence where 6 officers cant control an inmate, and he uses a Taser?

    $2 fine? the rest of that is even more stupid of a judge. What happened to Public safety when those responsible have no safety concerns?
    I have a safety lesson for him... Tie him to a large tree/fence, and then take pot shots in his general direction, and if he stops paying attention, Put a few into the tree NEAR HIM..

    A 19 year old with a gun, that he has PROBABLY NEVER USED, has his first test rounds from Inside a police car, while he is working as a police officer, then fires 1 round THREW the windshield of the car he is in..INTO rush hour traffic. And we cant even tell if he shot what he was aiming at.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 25 Apr 2020 @ 4:36pm

      Re: HOw many counts here..

      Oh, I have no doubt he hit what he was aiming at, since I doubt he thought much beyond the windshield in front of him. Would have served him right if someone in the car ahead had returned fire though.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonycog, 25 Apr 2020 @ 1:28pm

    Justice = State Terrorism

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tom (profile), 26 Apr 2020 @ 7:53am

    Wonder when some attorney will help this menace to society file a claim against the county for on the job hearing damage caused by his discharge of a firearm in an enclosed space while on duty?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2020 @ 7:44am

    no accountability, no peace

    Fine, $2
    Conviction, 11 months and 29 days of unsupervised probation
    The ability to return to "law enforcement" in another city (regardless of whether or not your record is expunged) after firing your gun thru the windshield of a car during rush hour, PRICELESS
    (do black cops get these kinda deals too?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 27 Apr 2020 @ 11:31am

    ... but he was one long enough to do something so batshit crazy, it nearly requires the suspension of disbelief asked of us by fiction writers.

    "The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible", Mark Twain

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RagstoRogseriffic, 29 Apr 2020 @ 12:09pm

    Well, what is " organized group of local assholes" for the win?

    They call THEMSELVES gang stalkers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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