State Watch

Idaho sheriff accused of pulling gun on church youth group

Idaho’s attorney general on Tuesday charged a county sheriff on two felony counts for allegedly threatening a Christian youth group with a firearm last month.

Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland is charged with the felonies of aggravated battery and aggravated assault. He also faces a misdemeanor charge for the exhibition of a gun, according to EastIdahoNews.com, which obtained court records. Rowland lives near the town of Blackfoot, which is about three hours from Boise.

Rowland, who has taken a leave of absence from his elected office as sheriff, was not arrested but was issued a court summons for Dec. 22.

On Nov. 9, a youth group associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was posting turkey-shaped notes on people’s doors in the Blackfoot area, spreading goodwill and thanks ahead of Thanksgiving, EastIdahoNews.com reported.

When they approached Rowland’s home and rang the doorbell, the sheriff told his wife to bring his gun, fearing it was someone dangerous because the policeman said he had been issued several threats against him.

Rowland talked to the youth group but became concerned when he saw a vehicle behind them. He approached the vehicle with his firearm and yelled multiple profanities at a woman, identified as the adult leader in charge of the youth group in court documents.

The sheriff asked “Who the f–k are you” and yelled, “I will f—ing shoot you” before he returned inside.

A parent of one of the girls told the news outlet her daughter feared for her life.

“It has been a very difficult experience for our child to go through, especially the confusion caused whenever the behavior of trusted adults seems harmful and unpredictable,” the parent said.

The sheriff did not speak to EastIdahoNews.com but told police he “really screwed up,” the outlet reported, citing court documents.

Tags arrest Bingham County Bingham County Sheriff's Office Blackfoot charges Craig Rowland Felony firearms gun charges Idaho sheriff threats
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