Assistant Bryan Police Chief arrested for assault

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 10:04 AM CST
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An arrest report released on Wednesday provides additional information about an alleged assault involving an off-duty assistant police chief and provides information from witnesses that contradict statements he gave to officers.

Wayland Ray Rawls, 47, of Bryan was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault causing bodily injury.

According to a probable cause report filed by the Texas Rangers, Rawls was off-duty when he attended a school fundraising event for Allen Academy on the evening of Saturday, February 8 in the 500 block of W. 26th Street.

Several witnesses told investigators Rawls first struck the victim with a closed fist multiple times in the face and body, and the man never struck back or attempted to fight back.

The victim suffered an abrasion to the top of his head, a black eye, redness, bruising to his left cheek, a broken finger, and bruising to the right side of his torso, according to the report.

Investigators say after the incident, Rawls claimed the other man first put up a hand and touched his face, which provoked Rawl's reaction.

However, multiple witnesses told Texas Rangers that isn't true. They say the victim "did nothing to initiate the physical altercation".

According to the probable cause report, witnesses said the victim never fought back and only put his hands up in defense of Rawl's repeated strikes.

"First of all police officers are supposed to have thick skin. They're not supposed to get easily provoked," said John Quinn, a Defense Attorney in Bryan.

Quinn also once served as a police officer in Virginia.

"This potentially, obviously could affect his job and not only his job with Bryan but anywhere because it could affect his rating as a police officer. They could actually strip is license over this," said Quinn.

Quinn also explained what a Class A Misdemeanor entails.

"A Class A assault is where there is actually bodily injury. There is no class B assault. There's also Class A assault involving family violence which means somebody you're dating or married to or something like that. And then if there's serious bodily injury that can be a felony. And if there's a weapon involved that can also be a felony," said Quinn.

Brazos County Justice of the Peace Kenny Elliott issued the misdemeanor arrest warrant earlier this week.

Both men told Bryan police they wanted to press charges against the other. The Texas Rangers were immediately requested to investigate the incident because of Rawl's position in the city police department.

Rawls was released from the Brazos County Detention Center Wednesday on a bond of $4,000.

He's also on Paid Administrative Leave at the police department. He will continue to be on leave pending the outcome of the Bryan Police Department’s internal investigation.

KBTX has reached out to all the Bryan City Council Members for reaction to the arrest.

Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson sent us a statement saying, "I have confidence in both the Texas Rangers and BPD to conduct their investigations and will not comment about this while either investigation remains ongoing."

Quinn said in these type of situations an outside investigation is typical.

"The Bryan Police Department obviously doesn't want to be accused of trying to protect one of its own and the Rangers are the typical choice," said Quinn.

In his position, Rawls serves as commander of the Patrol Services Bureau at the police department.

He's in charge of patrol, support services, training and recruiting, the training academy, traffic unit, school resource unit and the mobile field force team.