Ken Walton alleges that a cop pulled out his gun during an Arizona traffic stop for no reason.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, August 15, 2016, 2:47 PM
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is defending a Highway Patrol trooper who drew his gun on a man and a 7-year-old girl in a traffic stop.
The stop happened Thursday while San Francisco resident Ken Walton and his daughter Wren were on vacation. The father had rented a car in Las Vegas, unaware that the car’s front license plate had previously been stolen from another vehicle.
A trooper ran the rental car’s license plate on the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database and turned up a stolen plate.
Walton and authorities have provided differing accounts about the ensuing traffic stop.
In a lengthy, public Facebook post, Walton alleges that the arresting officer “tapped on the rear passenger side window with his pistol” with Wren just “inches away from the barrel of his gun.”
ADPS Captain Damon Cecil told the Daily News that the trooper tapped on the window with his hand, not his weapon.
The trooper’s wedding ring produced the sound that was mistaken for a gun tapping on the car’s window, Cecil said.
The trooper also alleged that he had no knowledge of there being a child in the car.
“This happened at night, and our trooper could only see one person in the vehicle. He only noticed her after Walton rolled down his window and the girl leaned forward,” Cecil said.
“Tonight, I was arrested at gunpoint by an Arizona highway patrol officer who threatened to shoot me in the back (twice) in front of my 7-year-old daughter,” Ken Walton wrote in a public Facebook post.
Walton wrote that while his hands were as high in the air as he could hold them, the officer accused him of reaching for his waistband.
“Get your hands away from your waist or I’ll blow two holes through your back right now!” Walton wrote. Walton claims that he never reached for his waist.
Cecil accused Walton of misrepresenting the trooper’s actions.
“Mr. Walton is a writer and he makes stuff up to captivate a willing audience, and that’s what I think he had, a story and a captive audience made up of folks who don’t like police,” Cecil said.
Walton — who could not be reached Monday to discuss Cecil’s comments — previously drew attention for trying to sell a fake painting on eBay for $ 135,000. Walton pleaded guilty in 2001 to federal wire and mail fraud charges after he personally bid on the painting in an attempt to inflate its price. He then penned a tell-all book called “Fake: Forgery, Lies & eBay.”
The ADPS is investigating the trooper involved with the stop, but he currently remains on duty, Cecil said.
“We believe our trooper did everything he could to control the situation and make it as safe as possible for everyone involved,” Cecil said. “We don’t know if we pulled over Mr. and Mrs. Jones on a family vacation or a guy who just murdered his wife who is going to pull a gun on him.”