Man Involved in Walmart Altercation Appears in Court

Couple at the heart of scuffle with Kendall County sheriff's deputy welcomes home baby girl.

The Montgomery man involved in a  appeared in Kendall County court Wednesday afternoon.

A pre-trial hearing for Jason Thurmond, charged with battery stemming from the incident, ended with a continuation of the case to March 12. Thurmond’s attorney, Richard Irvin of Aurora, said the continuation will allow for time to review surveillance footage from Walmart from the afternoon of Feb. 5.

According to an  report, several police responded to the store on Route 34 for a 911 call of a fight in progress at about noon that day. Thurmond said he was in an express checkout line with his wife, and had gone back into the store to get eggs. When he returned, he said, he saw his wife in tears and another shopper yelling at her.

Thurmond identified the shopper as Kendall County Sheriff's Deputy Craig French, a department veteran who serves as the public information officer. He was off-duty at the time. The sheriff's department has not confirmed that French is the officer in question, but his name appears on the Oswego Police report about the incident.

An argument began between Thurmond said French, and Thurmond said the two got closer and closer. Thurmond admitted to shoving French to get him away from his wife, who was nine months pregnant with the couple's daughter. It was then, he said, that French pulled his gun.

911 tapes of the incident made available to Patch this week through a Freedom of Information Act request depict a scene of mass confusion, with French only revealing he was a sheriff's deputy after pulling his weapon. The sheriff's office is conducting an internal investigation into the incident and will release the results after the criminal trial of Thurmond is over.

Irvin said he looks forward to taking the case to trial.

“When an officer on-duty or off-duty pulls out his weapon there should be imminent danger,” he said. “I hardly think Mr. Thurmond retrieving a dozen eggs constituted imminent danger.”

Thurmond said Wednesday that his wife gave birth to their daughter, Mia, on Feb. 15. Mother and daughter are doing just fine, he said.

“It certainly was no thanks to having a gun pointed in her face a few days before (delivering) her,” he said. “This was suppose to be a happy occasion, and this has been all I’ve been able to think about.”

The Kendall County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident. Thurmond filed an official complaint with the sheriff's department on Feb. 7. Thurmond also said Wednesday that he plans to go forward with a lawsuit, but none has been filed. He said he has hired attorney Kevin Halverson of Warrenville, who did not return a call seeking comment.

Editor's note: The 911 calls from the day of the incident are attached to this article. Police edited some portions of the calls to remove personal information about the callers.

Janine March 01, 2012 at 02:47 AM
I think it's a shame that an off duty police officer has the nerve to get in a pregnant woman's face and yell at her!!!! Who does he think he is? As a police officer he is held to a higher standard and should be able to maintain his composure when the woman in front of him in the express lane has additiional items. If he can't hold his own in a grocery store, who knows how he'll act when he's not in public...just shoot someone because he doesn't like something about them. Her husband had EVERY right to get him out of her face and the officer is lucky he didn't get cold cocked!!! The officer deserves everything he gets providing he gets fired. I also think it's quite amusing that you mentioned concealed carry...48 out of 50 states have concealed carry except Illinois and Wisconsin and it is statistically proven that crime has been reduced in these states because of it!! I haven't heard of any gun fights in the streets because of concealed carry, just a decrease in crime. And you don't have to worry because the socialist state of IL will never pass concealed carry...the only people that will be carrying concealed weapons in IL are the criminals.
Rick Winninger March 01, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Correction Illinois is the only state without CC Wis. now has it.
Dan March 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I had to sign up just to post on this comment. The whole message you are sending is flawed here Bryan. A police officer and your wal-mart shopper ARE NOT and SHOULD NOT be held to the same standard of conduction. Police are supposed to be the example setters, the "good citizens". Keeping the order should be his main focus. A man removed a volatile person from his wifes safe zone and the cocky "hot-shot" draws a gun on him without so much as identifying himself as a legit weapons carrier (i.e. police officer)? This is the guy I want patrolling my streets keeping my family safe... Had it been for conceal and carry laws, I bet this fella would have thought twice before brandishing a gun John Wayne style in a supermarket over a dozen eggs. Craig French is a so-called professional that has failed at his job. Good luck to you Jason and may you walk out the victor.
Caroline March 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
What if the gun went off and the woman was injured or killed? Another case of police abuse of power! Of course the man protected his pregnant wife!
Lettie Delap March 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM
THE OFFICER PULLED HIS WEAPON??????? WHAT? Is he for real???? Sounds like it's time fopr desk duty...


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