Bryan Texas, Asst. Police Chief Arrested
On Saturday, February 8, the Bryan Police Department received a call for an assault. When officers arrived they discovered that the assailant was their Assistant Police Chief, Wayland Rawls. Chief Rawls was at a school fundraiser when he assaulted another man who was also attending the function. According to the Police Chief, who was away during the incident due to medical issues, the officers who responded to the call acted appropriately.
If that is the case then why didn’t the officers arrest Mr. Rawls at the time? Or did he leave the location before they arrived? The news articles don’t say if Rawls remained at the scene and if so, why he wasn’t arrested and they didn’t ask about it in the news conference. Regardless, the responding officers did interview witnesses and gather information. According to their report, the victim was struck several times in the face, resulting in visible injuries.
Investigation Passed to DPS’s Texas Rangers
Police Chief Eric Buske remained in contact with his interim assistant police chief and instructed him to turn the investigation over to the Texas Rangers. The move was to preserve an impartial investigation in the eyes of the public. After investigating, the Texas Rangers determined that there was sufficient evidence to issue a warrant for assault against Wayland Rawls. Mr. Rawls turned himself in on February 19. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the various laws you may wonder, is assault a felony? Assault is one of the crimes that has a whole range of degrees. In the case of Mr. Rawls, the assault was a Class A Misdemeanor. It did not rise to a felony level.
Assistant Chief Wayland Rawls
Mr. Rawls’ history shows that he was arrested in 1991 for assault. Mr. Rawls accepted deferred adjudication on that case, paid a fine of $100 and served one year probation. Once he had successfully completed the requirements of the deferred adjudication the case was dismissed. Because it was dismissed, it is not held against him. Mr. Rawls was able to get his TCOLE peace officer’s certification in 1995. Again, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement does not prohibit an individual with a dismissal from becoming certified as a peace officer.
Assistant Chief Rawls was with the Bryan Police Department for 24 years. He was mainly over the patrol division. After his arrest, Mr. Rawls retired from the police department which brought the agency’s internal investigation that would be the basis used to determine any disciplinary action, to a close.