Despite the many details that have emerged since 60-year-old Jiansheng Chen was shot and killed by a security guard last month, one remains unclear. Was the guard allowed to carry a gun that night, or not? Representatives for the River Walk Community Association and the Chesapeake-based company hired to patrol the River Walk neighborhood where Chen s family say he was shot while playing Pokemon Go tell different stories.
The association says its contract called specifically for unarmed guards, while the company says it allowed for guns. Both repeatedly declined to provide a copy to The Pilot. Johnathan Cromwell of Virginia Beach has been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the Jan. 26 killing. His attorney, Emily Munn, said in an email she had not seen the contract but her client absolutely believed he was allowed to carry a weapon as part of his employment.
Since November, Cromwell has worked for Citywide Protection Services, which the community association hired to patrol common areas a boat ramp and the clubhouse near where the shooting took place. The association s board immediately said and still insists that its contract, signed in 2010 with no modifications or alterations since, contains a specific section calling for unarmed and uniformed security. The contract was suspended after the shooting. But Andrew Sacks, an attorney for Citywide, maintained Monday there s no doubt guards were allowed to carry arms under the contract.
I can t be more emphatic. (The contract) clearly includes a provision for armed services, he said. It gives the company the discretion for what they deem is necessary under the circumstances.
Sacks also said Monday that Cromwell is still a company employee. He is registered with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services as an armed and unarmed security officer, according to the department s online database, and endorsed for using a handgun and shotgun. Virginia is one of a handful of states that give private security guards officers under state code the power to arrest citizens. An unarmed guard must complete 18 hours of training within 90 days of hire at a security company. An additional up to 35 hours is required for armed guards, who have arrest powers.
Daitwan Hardy, CEO of Security Contracting, a North Carolina-based company with an office in Chesapeake, said in the private security world, all the details are contract- and site-specific.
It all depends on the contract itself, he said. Hardy said it would be a waste of money to send an armed guard to an area that calls for unarmed security, as it costs a lot more. Security Contracting rarely does that for new hires. Low-income neighborhoods often prefer armed guards, while wealthier ones tend to ask for unarmed, he said.
It s illegal in Virginia for a guard hired for an unarmed site to show up with a firearm, even if coming from an armed site. Justin Moss, president of Talon Security Services in Chesapeake, said that includes having a gun in the car.
You cannot have access to a firearm while there, he said. It can t be on site at all. But it happens, he said: Not all companies are vigilant about checking their guards practices, and not all guards find time to make a stop in between sites. Christopher Zombar, Talon s vice president, said he prefers his officers work through the ranks, starting as unarmed and working their way to being armed supervisors.
There s usually something in their background before we let them just put a weapon on, Moss said. He added that he thinks River Walk would be a difficult place to patrol because of its size and makeup, which includes a variety of adjacent communities and not that many common areas.
Zach Mitcher, who grew up in River Walk, said he remembers seeing armed guards there for as long as he can remember. He said the guards often chased teenagers away from late-night hangouts at the community boat ramp.
I always thought they were supposed to be armed, Mitcher said. They weren t trying to hide it. On Jan. 26 around 11 p.m., Chen, who lived about a half-mile away, pulled his van into the driveway of the River Walk clubhouse, according to Commonwealth s Attorney Nancy Parr. Cromwell confronted Chen by stopping his car directly in front of Chen s van, and Chen backed up and turned around, Parr said in a news release.
Cromwell exited his car and said stop before he fired, according to the release. Chen was shot five times: four times in the upper left chest and once in the upper left arm. The company continues to believe Cromwell shot in self-defense, Sacks said Monday. Parr declined to discuss whether Cromwell was allowed to be armed or other details of the case, citing the Virginia State Bar s rules of professional conduct.
This case will be tried in the courtroom and not in the media, Parr wrote in an email. All parties will receive a fair and impartial trial.
A bond hearing is set for Thursday and preliminary hearing for April 26.
DENVER — A security guard at Denver Health Medical Center is accused of using a stun gun on a man and beating him with a flashlight. Multiple people reached out about the case after seeing a post from Michelle Martinez on Facebook. In the post, Martinez said her son, Nicolas Montez Jr., arrived at Denver Health early Saturday morning after he saw his brother get shot. She said the security guard attacked him without provocation.
“As [Nicolas] arrived the security guards instructed him to sit next the information desk, which he did. I was notified that my son was there waiting so I went to the ER waiting room,” Martinez said. “Nick began to walk toward me once he saw me and was tackled by the security officer.
“Another officer began punching him and kneeing him in the face. They tazed (sic) him and he fell to the ground they kneeled on his back and continued to taze him.”
“He’s screaming, ‘My brother’s back there, my brother’s been shot, I’m trying to get to my brother,'” Martinez said.
Martinez said she was running toward the men when an officer pulled out a metal flashlight and started hitting her son on the head and face.
“Nick was down with his arms behind his back and the security guard went up with the flashlight and cracked his head open. You could hear it echo through the hallway,” Martinez said.
“I was helpless. My mother came screaming and they put her in a police hold. She’s 64 years old.
“No mother [should] to have to go through what I’ve gone through, watching my son get beat with a metal object and not be able to do anything.”
“This is not about color. My son is Hispanic, this is about injustice and unprovoked attacks by security officers in a position of trust,” she said on Facebook.
Denver Health spokeswoman Kelli Christensen said the security guard, who works for HSS Security, has been put on leave.
“We take this matter seriously and are currently investigating the events that occurred at our hospital early Saturday morning,” Christensen said. “We are told by HSS that the security guard in question has been put on leave pending further investigation.”
HSS said two security officers tried to prevent a “disruptive and combative person from entering the emergency room.”
“At some point during the ensuing event, HSS officers deployed a Taser to control the person, which was not effective,” HSS said in a statement. “The person suffered a head injury when subdued by officers.”
“Our officers receive training in patient restraint practices and safe handling of individuals under stress, and we are always concerned if we are not able to successfully defuse a situation,” said Alan Butler, senior vice president of health care security. “We are cooperating with Denver Health s internal investigation and have been told Denver police are conducting an investigation as well.”
Warning: The photos of the injuries are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.
“They didn’t say anything that I could personally hear. They just kept hitting me and my friends…”
Dustin Olwig, the Attila fan who was assaulted by security during the band’s Milwaukee, WI show this past Thursday, has spoken out. His and his brothers rough treatment at the hand’s of venue staff led to Attila themselves brawling with security. Speaking to thesickest.co, Dustin offered:
“Well, I am a huge fan of Attila that for sure. I listen to them every day because they are just as brutal as myself. I live the same no fucks given lifestyle. Being big fans, my brother Cory Olwig, and my friend Austin Bruhn all decided we were going to try and get over the barricade by crowdsurfing (as Fronz [Atilla’s vocalist] demanded the crowd to do), as we wanted to meet and sing with Fronz during his live performance.
“My brother threw Austin up first, security instantly slammed his head into the metal barricade, then I was about to go over and I didn’t even make it half way over the barricade before They pulled me the rest of the way over, by grabbing me around my neck and slamming me to the ground. Then they all started punching me while I was on the ground, Chis Linck [the band’s guitarist] then jumped on to the security guards to help me.
“The first guard that grabbed Linck, my brother pulled him off, punched him in the head and put him in a head lock and wouldn’t let go until Linck was back on stage. I then broke free from security, ran to the right of stage and just sat on it until the show abruptly ended. Also our friends Nathan Youngwirth and Chad Stern were attacking the guards from the other side of the barricade trying to get the off of me and the band.”
“They didn’t say anything that I could personally hear. They just kept hitting me and my friends. They threatened my brother, me, and Austin right away because they knew we were going to do something. I heard no warning about moshing at all nor were any signs posted not to. They let everyone throw down the entire whole show but when the end came they got violent with us. If you review the video you can see my brother (the guy with no shirt) holding security off their guitarist Chris Linck. You can also see me being pulled down and hit as well as Austin being escorted off by the security with Chris behind him.”
- ^ Ultimate Guitar (www.ultimate-guitar.com)
- ^ N-D profile (profile.ultimate-guitar.com)
- ^ was assaulted by security (www.ultimate-guitar.com)
- ^ thesickest.co (Dustin%20Olwig,%20the%20Attila%20fan%20who%20was%20allegedly%20assaulted%20by%20security%20during%20the%20band%E2%80%99s%20Milwaukee,%20WI%20show%20this%20past%20Thursday,%20has%20spoken%20out.%20His%20and%20his%20brothers%20rough%20treatment%20at%20the%20hand%E2%80%99s%20of%20venue%20staff%20led%20to%20Attila%20themselves%20scuffling%20with%20security.%20Speaking%20to%20thesickest.co,%20he%20offered)
- ^ Tweet (twitter.com)
- ^ 8 comments (www.ultimate-guitar.com)
- ^ Attila (www.ultimate-guitar.com)