Maybe it’s because Minnesota is just west of me. Perhaps it’s because I am also a concealed carry permit holder. Or maybe it’s that I would have had pretty much the same response this man had to being questioned by a couple of sheriffs barking up my tree. Regardless of what it was, you have to hear how bad this story really is.
Ganrude issued the permit to William Thomas Underhill, 68, Jan. 31 after Underhill successfully completed the statutory requirements for carrying a concealed firearm in public. Less than six weeks later, Underhill was embroiled in an angry verbal confrontation with two Winona County Sheriff’s deputies at the Minnesota Department of Transportation shop in Dresbach.
According to documents filed in Winona District Court, Underhill had arranged to meet March 11 with deputies investigating a violation of a Domestic Abuse No-contact Order. Underhill was not the subject of the investigation.
The petition states that Underhill appeared to be very angry as he pulled into the parking lot, scowling and looking intently at the deputies’ squad cars. Exiting his vehicle Underhill marched toward the two squad cars, “teeth clenched, muscle tone rigid.”
This is the most ridiculous description on the planet. Were they staring at his mouth? Was he bearing his teeth like ?
“What’s up?” he demanded, then proceeded to complain about a phone call investigators made to the suspect in the case, assuming an “aggressive posture” toward the second deputy, leaning forward with his chest out, shoulders back, the petition reads.
Twice, Underhill was told to keep his hands out of his pockets.
At one point the first deputy asked Underhill if he had come intending to fight with the officers. Underhill reacted by asking the deputy if he wanted to fight, to which the deputy responded, “Absolutely not,” the petition states.
Throughout the confrontation, Underhill had a gun in his pocket and had his hand on his gun and cell phone, the petition states.
How could they possibly know what was in Underhill’s pocket unless they searched him at that time?
In a later phone call with the chief deputy, Underhill said that he felt the deputies “were looking to kill someone that day.” He said he was a Vietnam veteran and that the two deputies were “punks” who needed to learn how to treat people, the document states. The chief deputy stated he felt Underhill’s tone was on the verge of threatening the two deputies and that Underhill was attempting to intimidate the sheriff’s department in how it dealt with Underhill and the suspect in the case.
Having a “tone” with a police officer isn’t a crime or a precursor to violence and being “on the verge of threatening” is not threatening. He was upset. He felt disrespected. If they deny or revoke the concealed carry permit of every Minnesotan who gets upset with law enforcement, they’re going to have a lot of paperwork on their hands.
As a result of this incident and prior knowledge, the sheriff’s office believes that there exists “substantial likelihood” that Underhill “would be a danger to self or public if authorized to carry a pistol under permit” and requests that the court revoke his permit.
Court action is required for revocation.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 2.
I hope Underhill gets an amazing attorney and fights this thing tooth and nail. The implications this Sheriff’s office are making on this man are inflammatory and completely ridiculous, there is no way they could ever prove any of their assertions.