BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho — Sheriff Craig Rowland of the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho is accused of pulling his weapon, threatening a church youth group, and battering one of its leaders. He’s subsequently been ordered to surrender his firearms to state police, but will remain on the job for now.
Rowland was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and misdemeanor exhibition of a gun after the controversial incident occurred Nov. 9.
The volatile encounter began when a girls youth group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was going door-to-door in Blackfoot to leave “thank you” messages for community members, the New York Post reported.
The group consisted of seven girls – ages 12 to 16 – and one adult chaperone. They had just taped a note on Broward’s car before ringing his doorbell and running away, court documents revealed.
The girls got into a car that was stopped by Broward. He allegedly pulled the adult driver – a woman he’s reportedly known for 30 years – out of the vehicle by her hair and aimed his gun at her head while profanely yelling at her and threatening to shoot her.
Furthermore, Rowland is accused of defaming the local Shoshone-Bannock Tribe’s Fort Hall reservation with a statement in defense of his actions, which ultimately brought national attention to the case.
“I have been doing this job for 36 years, I’ve had drunk Indians drive down my cul-de-sac, I’ve had drunk Indians come to my door,” Rowland said, according to an affidavit released by state prosecutors. “I live just off of the reservation, we have a lot of reservation people around us that are not good people.”
The sheriff made his first preliminary court appearance on Wednesday. During the hearing, prosecutors asked Judge Faren Eddins to order Rowland to take an extended leave of absence. The judge denied the request since Rowland has not yet been convicted, the Post reported.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 6.