Spartanburg County, South Carolina sheriff Chuck Wright – arguably the Palmetto State’s poster boy for civil asset forfeiture abuse – is facing criticism for comments he made in the aftermath of the latest criminal domestic violence scandal to rock his department.
One of Wright’s former deputies – Gary Samuel Watson, Jr. – was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to second-degree domestic violence and cruelty to children in connection with a July 2018 incident.
Watson was originally charged with first-degree criminal domestic violence, pointing and presenting a firearm and the unlawful neglect of a child following the 2018 incident – in which police say he choked both his wife and minor child and threatened them with a firearm.
According to probable cause affidavits accompanying the warrants for Watson’s arrest, the 41-year-old lawman caused “physical injuries to the neck and back” of his then-spouse and impeded her “breathing and air flow,” an offense which was “committed in the presence of” a minor.
Furthermore, Watson was accused of “unlawfully and not in self-defense” pointing a firearm at the child – his child – while also placing the minor “at unreasonable risk of harm by impeding (their) breathing and air flow.”
Wright’s take on all this?
“Gary is a really nice guy and he just made a bad choice,” Wright told The (Spartanburg, S.C.) Herald-Journal. “He got mixed up and couldn’t control his emotions. He’s a good person, he just made a bad choice.”
Needless to say, that response did not go over particularly well with many of the sheriff’s constituents.
“Upstate people are pissed,” one Spartanburg resident told us. “(Watson) choked a woman AND a child. That’s not a good person making a bad choice.”
Two years ago, another one of Wright’s deputies was charged with first degree criminal domestic violence. No word on how those charges were resolved.
Our view? This news outlet has never been a fan of Wright’s … and he has publicly criticized us as well in the past. So there’s that. Still, we have heard from several Spartanburg readers who are hotter than the proverbial pistol over the comments he made in response to this situation.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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