The Return of Barney Fife

Those of us of a certain age certainly recall Barney Fife, the bumbling deputy on The Andy Griffith Show.  They also may recall that Sheriff Andy Taylor only let Barney have one bullet for his gun and he had to keep that bullet in his shirt pocket, not in his gun.  Why?  Barney could be, well, overenthusiastic about his law enforcement duties and Andy figured that the need to fumble with the bullet and load the gun before using it would help offset Barney’s bad judgment.

With this in mind, The Curmudgeon would like to introduce you to Officer Stuart Lee Harrison of the Southwestern Regional police force in York County, Pennsylvania.  A 15-year veteran officer, Harrison was among several officers who helped subdue a suspect who tried to rob a bank by asking to withdraw $500,000 and who, when informed by bank staff that he couldn’t withdraw $500,000 because he didn’t have an account at the bank, threatened bank employees and refused to leave the premises.

They grow their crim’nals realllllll smart in York County.

Barney’s gone but his spirit lives on!

Officers arrived on the scene and eventually wrangled the suspect into the back seat of a police car.  They had a hard time of it and even tried to subdue him with a Taser at one point in the struggle but were unsuccessful in hitting their target – not a very good sign.  Once they had him in the back seat of the squad car he remained uncooperative, and though he was apparently alone in the back seat of a locked car and not hurting anyone, Officer Fife, er, Harrison, decided he would use his Taser to create a little order.

So Officer Harrison reached into his holster and pulled the trigger on his Taser as he held it against the suspect’s thigh.

Only it wasn’t his Taser.  It was his gun.

His loaded gun, because the sheriff in town permits Officer Harrison to carry a loaded gun.

And he blasted the suspect in the leg.

The suspect’s reaction, by the way, was priceless:  he asked, “Dude, why’d you shoot me?”

Officer Harrison has been charged with second degree simple assault, a misdemeanor.

And THAT, friends, is why Sheriff Andy Taylor didn’t let Barney Fife carry a loaded gun.

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