PCSO deputy resigns after fight, asking officers for 'courtesy' - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


PCSO deputy resigns after fight, asking officers for 'professional courtesy'

A former Pinal County sheriff's deputy is in danger of losing his Arizona peace officer certification after surveillance video shows him punching someone in the face at a Tempe bar, then asking police for professional courtesy.

Surveillance video from the Firehouse Bar and Grill shows 30-year-old Richard Mueller getting into a fight with another man at the bar last October. Mueller outstretches his hand, but when the other guy swats it away, Mueller punches him but walks off when he sees security coming. 

"The bar wants to aid in prosecution. You disrupted their business," a Tempe police officer is heard saying in footage from his on-body camera. "They called us twice on you."

Mueller told Tempe police he was a Pinal County sheriff's deputy, and that he acted in self-defense. They cited him for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

"How much professional courtesy are you showing me at this point?" Mueller is heard asking the Tempe police sergeant. 

Then Mueller appears to tell the officers if this had happened to one of them in Pinal County, things may have gone a little differently. 

"Since we're done and we're off the record, it would be like, 'Hey, you know what? He's going to prosecute, charge you with disorderly conduct. You don't want anything. See you later,'" Mueller said in the video.

CBS 5 News contacted the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and received the following statement, 

Our office is dealing right now with our second officer involved shooting this week. Unfortunately, as a result we are unable at the last minute to respond to your request for a sit down interview on audio which was released by the Tempe Police Department nearly a year ago.

Richard Mueller self-reported this incident to his immediate supervisor. A professional standards investigation was launched. Mr. Mueller resigned prior to the conclusion of the  investigation. The comment made by Mr. Mueller was when he was extremely intoxicated by alcohol. His drunken comment was obviously inappropriate and completely against how any law enforcement officer should ever conduct themselves. Our office forwarded the information to Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training who will decide if he is able to maintain his certification. 

Attempts to contact Mueller at his home were unsuccessful. 

Mueller has completed a diversion program as part of his citation. The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has sent the case to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. They are looking into it and will decide whether to suspend his certification, revoke it or do nothing. 
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