RUTHERFORDTON — Attorney Andrew LaBreche petitioned Superior Court Monday for the release of the Rutherfordton police’s body camera footage of the Jan. 29 incident at the Copper Penny restaurant involving Tony Roberson, an announced candidate for sheriff.
The 911 call (see below) reported when police were called to have Tony Roberson escorted out the establishment when it was reported he was creating a disturbance. Social media reveals that Roberson and his supporters have denied the incident and complain that this was a conspiracy against his candidacy by opponent Aaron Ellenburg.
In the filing LaBreche writes, “For approximately two (2) weeks, Roberson has denied that he engaged in any of the inappropriate behaviors described below and, instead, embarked on a very public campaign to disparage and discredit the Rutherfordton Police Department, deputies of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, political rivals, and others by claiming that this incident was entirely fabricated as part of conspiracy designed to harm Roberson’s political aspirations.”
Justification for the release of the video would give the public the opportunity to verify Roberson’s claims or how others portrayed them.
While Roberson had originally been banned from the restaurant; that order has since been rescinded by Copper Penny management. Rutherfordton Police Chief Clint Ingle responded with a social media post detailing the events of the night and confirming that the restaurant had previously banned Roberson.
Ingle said he did not appreciate how Roberson talked with his police officer on the scene. Roberson later admitted using “harsh” language toward the officer and owed him an apology.
The court filing further states;
“Over the following several days, Roberson and Jamie Dunn (the individual Roberson has publicly announced will be [Chief Deputy], his number two in command at the Sheriff’s Office if Roberson is elected and who acts as Roberson’s political spokesman) began making Facebook posts insisting that the incident, as reported by police and all eyewitnesses, were not only entirely false, but were, in fact, an orchestrated conspiracy by opponents Aaron Ellenburg.”
Jamie Dunn, a former employee of Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, was fired for assaulting a handcuffed detainee at the jail and convicted for that crime in RC District Court. He is appealing that verdict in March. The camera footage of the jail assault is below. If the conversation is closely analyzed, there is a reference that this is not the first time these kind of incidents have occurred.