The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 16, 2014

Former EPD officer arraigned on firearm charge

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A former Enid Police Department officer was arraigned Thursday on a misdemeanor count of carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

Ashton Wayne Fletcher, 25, faces 10 days to six months in prison and/or a fine of $50 to $500 for the single count of carrying a firearm while under the influence. At the time of the incident, Fletcher still was a member of EPD.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Enid Police Department received a call at 12:06 a.m. Dec. 18 saying a man had come into Wild Child’s Gentlemen’s Club, 2601 S. Van Buren, carrying a gun.

The caller said the man, identified as Fletcher, was asked to leave the club and he did, but then returned. The caller said a bouncer for the club had taken the gun from Fletcher, according to the affidavit.

Officers went to the club and spoke with Fletcher in the parking lot.

Officer James McFadden spoke with the bouncer, Bobby Bornt, who said Fletcher had entered the club and was intoxicated, according to the affidavit. Bornt said he saw Fletcher was carrying a knife in his pants pocket and told him he would have to leave the knife in his truck.

Bornt said Fletcher took the knife to his truck, but when he returned he could see the outline of a gun in Fletcher’s back pocket, according to the affidavit. Bornt said he asked Fletcher what was in his back pocket, and Fletcher pulled out a gun and showed it to him.

Bornt said he took the gun from Fletcher and secured it in his vehicle. Bornt said Fletcher then took out a conceal-and-carry permit and showed it to him.

McFadden spoke with Fletcher and could smell an odor of intoxicants on his breath. Fletcher had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet, according to the affidavit.

Sgt. Quent Tubbs arrived at the club and also spoke with Fletcher.

Tubbs also noted he could smell an odor of alcohol on Fletcher’s breath and person. Tubbs asked Fletcher how much he’d had to drink that night, and Fletcher said he “only had a couple,” according to the affidavit. Fletcher said he does have  a conceal-and-carry permit and forgot the gun was in his pocket.

Tubbs asked what kind of gun it was, and Fletcher told him it was a “.32 special.”

“As I spoke with the defendant, I could see he constantly shuffled his feet to maintain balance and swayed from side to side,” Tubbs wrote in the affidavit. “The defendant said several times he knew he should not have taken the gun in the club, but he simply carries it so much he forgot it was in his pocket.”

Tubbs spoke with Bornt and noted that Wild Child’s Gentlemen’s Club is a full liquor bar, and saw a professionally printed sign posted that no one is supposed to carry firearms inside the bar.

Tubbs had Bornt retrieve Fletcher’s gun, which was a double-barrel Derringer. The gun is Cobra Ent. model CB38 and is a .38-special caliber pistol.

Bornt told Tubbs the gun was fully loaded. Bornt unloaded two live rounds from the pistol in front of Tubbs and said it was loaded when given to him.

On Dec. 23, the owner of Wild Child’s Gentlemen’s Club, Rick Childs, emailed three still photographs taken from a video from inside the club. Each photograph shows Fletcher inside the club.

Fletcher appeared Thursday before Special District Judge Brian Lovell while free on $1,000 bond with attorney Steve Cameron. The judge entered a not-guilty plea on Fletcher’s behalf. Fletcher was ordered to return to court Feb. 19 for a bond appearance.

Enid Police Department’s Capt. Jack Morris said Fletcher was hired as a patrolman Feb. 25, 2013, and resigned Dec. 18, 2013. At the time of his resignation, Fletcher was in his “training phase” as an officer.