A Chaves County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly following a man who had cut him off in traffic.
David Bradshaw, 42, who is accused of aiming a firearm — while off-duty with his toddler in his personal vehicle — at a man he followed home during a “traffic stop,” was released on his own recognizance Thursday after he was taken into custody pending an arrest warrant.
The arrest from the March 18 incident in the 1600 block of North Washington Avenue comes after a six-week investigation by the Roswell Police Department.
According to an affidavit by RPD detective Dylan Thomas, the victim involved in the incident, a worker for the city of Roswell, provided a written statement.
Within the statement, the man affected recounts driving south from North Washington at about 6:45 p.m.
“I was behind a newer black Ford pickup,” the victim stated. “After passing 19th Street, I decided to pass the Ford pickup. I continued going south on Washington until the intersection of Washington and Alameda.
“I turned right on Alameda and headed west until Union. The black truck continued to follow me. I then turned left on Union, heading south until Buena Vista.”
The victim then stated he turned left off Union, going east on Buena Vista without signaling because he wanted to confirm he was being followed.
“I drove east on Buena Vista until the intersection of Buena Vista and Washington,” the man stated. “I turned right off Buena Vista, onto Washington, and continued into my house. I drove into my driveway. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw the black Ford pickup parked in the street.”
The victim, noting he was scared, said he grabbed his firearm, put it in his pocket and waited in his driveway for the truck to leave.
“The black pickup stayed parked,” the man stated. “I then exited my vehicle with my firearm in my pocket showing. I stayed beside my vehicle. The man driving the black Ford pickup started to holler at me, using foul language and making remarks about how my driving (was) and how I passed him on Washington past 19th.
“I tried talking to the man driving, but he wouldn’t let me speak and kept talking over me. He then made remarks about me having my firearm, I then replied to him saying it’s an open-carry state.”
The man stated he stayed in his driveway and walked closer to the pickup truck.
“He then identified himself as officer Bradshaw and started saying he’s going to issue me a reckless driving citation and that he also contacted another officer who was on their way,” the man’s statement explained.” I attempted to try speaking to Bradshaw, but again, he kept speaking over me.”
The victim then stated he noticed Bradshaw had a revolver in his hand.
“The wind was blowing a little and it blew my shirt, causing it to cover my gun,” the man stated. “Once that happened, Bradshaw yelled, ‘Now that’s concealed carry,’ and aimed his revolver at me. I put my hands up and backed away and I noticed the top of a boy’s head in the passenger seat.”
The victim stated after he stepped back and said, “Let’s talk.” Bradshaw replied, “OK, we can talk, but I want you to put your gun in your car.”
The victim continued, “After I did that, Bradshaw then stepped out of his truck. He was wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt, shorts and no shoes.”
The man, noting again that Brashaw continued to talk over him, said Chaves County Deputy Rebecca Chavez had arrived at the scene.
“Bradshaw asked me for my ID and asked if I was drinking,” the victim stated. “I gave him my ID and replied, ‘No sir, I don’t drink.’ He then gave my ID to the other officer.
“I then replied to Bradshaw, ‘Let’s talk human being to human being.’ He then said, ‘I’ll talk to you in court when you get your citation in the mail.’”
Officer Chavez identified herself to the man and gave him back his ID. According to the statement, Chavez couldn’t write a citation since she wasn’t present.
“When she was writing, I mentioned how Bradshaw aimed his revolver at me,” the man stated. “Nothing was said. She then tells me to have a nice day and drove off.”
According to the affidavit, surveillance footage from a neighbor’s home across the street was obtained by RPD detective Michael Burkowski. Although police give a second-by-second report of the incident, including the point at which the victim had his hands up, there is no mention of Bradshaw aiming a firearm.
In an interview with the RPD, the victim then told police that it appeared as if Bradshaw had been recording him with a cellphone. The man also described the off-duty officer’s firearm as a silver revolver that “wasn’t large” and “about the size of a snub-nose revolver.”
Police later obtained and executed a search warrant at Bradshaw’s residence at Kensington Court.
“A silver revolver and three phones were seized during the execution of the search warrant,” Thomas wrote. “(I) contacted deputy Bradshaw and asked if he would be willing to go to the Roswell Police Department to give me a statement. Deputy Bradshaw did not wish to give a statement at the Roswell Police Department.”
Police said nothing of evidentiary value was located on the cellphones.
Police spoke with deputy Chavez, who was in the “east” district. Chavez added that Bradshaw had called her cellphone at the time of the incident to ask if she was working.
Chavez stated Bradshaw said, “‘This (expletive) just (cut) me off and I have my kids in the car and I don’t know if he’s 47 (a drunk driver), but can you come to my location,” Chavez recalled to police, according to the affidavit. “She said she would go to his location and then he told her not to because he didn’t want her to go out of district.
“She said it didn’t matter if she went out of district because there were only two deputies that were available.”
According to Chavez, Bradshaw did have his 3- or 2-year-old with him.
“She knows this because she saw deputy Bradshaw’s child waving at other children that were standing at the door of the residence,” Thomas wrote.
According to Chavez’s statement to police, Bradshaw had given her the license plate number for the vehicle he had been pursuing, as well as directions of where he thought it would be going. At one point, Chavez told Bradshaw, “He probably thinks you’re following him.”
In contrast to what the victim had told police, Chavez said when she was told Bradshaw had pulled a gun on him, she said, “Wait, what?”
“(Chavez) said she wasn’t there when it happened,” Thomas wrote. “She didn’t see a gun in his hand or on his person when she walked up. She said she couldn’t say anything to that. All she could do is apologize for what happened. She told (the victim) she didn’t have any other business with him and he was free to go.”
Police then asked Chavez what Bradshaw’s demeanor is like.
“She stated she was going to tell me exactly what she told the guy,” Thomas wrote. “She said, ‘In his defense, they just had a baby, and nobody is sleeping at home. He is on the night shift and he is not having a good day. I think he just needs to go home and take a nap.’ She stated Bradshaw is high-strung in general — that is just his personality.
“The way he was on the day of the incident concerned her. Whether he pulled a firearm on the guy or not, the way he was just at the end of the spectrum and how he was in his personally owned vehicle with his kids was not safe to pull up on somebody.”
Police asked if the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office has a policy for off-duty traffic stops.
“She stated she doesn’t really know if they had one,” Chavez told police. “Bradshaw wasn’t in his patrol unit. She has always been instructed to call dispatch and ask them to send a unit if she is in her personal unit.
“It seems like common sense to her. She would say behind the person, but not pull up at their house. To her, that seems a little irrational. She understands that police are on duty 24-7, but you can’t roll up to people’s houses. It’s a safety issue, too.”
Bradshaw is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a fourth-degree felony.
A court hearing in Chaves County Magistrate Court has not yet been set.
According to online court records, the case is currently set to be prosecuted by a member of the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, though it may later be sent over to the 12th Judicial DA’s Office.
Bradshaw is to be represented by Roswell defense attorney S. Doug Jones Witt.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.