Security Camera Footage Shows Walmart Altercation
Newly released security camera footage provides a look at the confrontation between a Montgomery man and an off-duty Kendall County Sheriff's deputy in the Oswego Walmart on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Oswego Police Department released video footage this weekend from the Super Bowl Sunday altercation between a Montgomery man and an off-duty Kendall County Sheriff's deputy at the Oswego Walmart.
Obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Patch, the Walmart surveillance video shows part of the altercation in which Jason Thurmond, of Montgomery, allegedly pushes the deputy and the deputy in turn pulls a weapon.
Thurmond, 38, was charged with misdemeanor battery after the incident. Thurmond has said he left the checkout to retrieve eggs from the store and returned from the aisles to find the officer arguing with his nine-months-pregnant wife.
Thurmond admits to shoving the officer to keep him away from his wife, he said, and that’s when the gun was pulled and pointed at his chest, he said. The 911 tapes from the incident reveal that the officer only announced himself as a sheriff’s deputy after drawing his weapon.
No shots were fired, and Oswego police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and charged Thurmond with battery.
In the first part of the video, Thurmond can be seen returning to the check-out at about the 12-second mark. At about the 30-second mark the deputy is shoved, and can be seen moving back into the scene. A few seconds later, the deputy can be seen drawing his weapon.
In the second part of the video, taken from a different security camera, Thurmond can be seen speaking with his hands up as the weapon is drawn. In the video's third part, customers at the front of the store can be seen running for cover as the weapon is drawn. The final section of video shows Oswego police responding to the scene just minutes later.
Thurmond appeared in Kendall County court last week, when copies of the video were turned over to his attorney, Richard Irvin.
Irvin said Monday that the video "can be interpreted in a number of ways," and without audio, does not conclusively prove that Thurmond felt like he and his wife were in danger before the shove occurred. Irvin said he has witnesses that will testify that Thurmond told the deputy to back off more than once.
Irvin hopes to prove that Thurmond was acting in self-defense, and in defense of his wife. The issue is the level of threat Thurmond felt, he said. Had the deputy not been armed, he said, the situation likely would have been defused a lot more quickly.
"I think the fact that Jason clearly was the first person to make contact can be interpreted, and I expect the state will interpret it, as Jason battering him," Irvin said. "I disagree with that theory."
Thurmond has identified the officer as Dep. Craig French, a veteran with the department who serves as the public information officer. The sheriff’s department has not confirmed that French is the officer in question, but his name appears on the Oswego Police Department report from the incident.
He remains on active duty while the sheriff’s department conducts an internal investigation. Thurmond has filed a complaint against French with the department, and has said he plans to go forward with a lawsuit.
Thurmond’s next court date is June 13 at 1 p.m.