Asst. Chief Rawls retires from Bryan PD amid assault investigation

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Assistant Bryan Police Chief Wayland Rawls retired from the department Monday night.

Bryan Police Assistant Chief Wayland Rawls is charged with assault.

The department announced his retirement on Tuesday. In their release, they said that Rawls' retirement ends the internal investigation against him for his assault arrest.

Last Wednesday he was arrested for misdemeanor assault. He's accused of punching another man multiple times at a school fundraiser event on February 8.

Rawls was with BPD for 24 years.

KBTX was there in 2007 when Rawls was promoted to Assistant Chief.
He served four months with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office before coming to Bryan according to documents we obtained from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske said they are working to find his replacement in the coming months.
In an exclusive interview, KBTX asked the chief why he allowed Rawls to submit his retirement before their investigation was over.
Police explained they can't prevent someone from retiring. We asked if it would have been better to wait for their investigation to finish.

“I mean we had no way of knowing how that investigation's going to work. I mean he, like everyone in our system has presumption of innocence so we really don't know how that would have turned out,” said Buske.

Buske didn’t have specifics on what Rawls’ retirement benefits will include.

Documents KBTX obtained from Harris County show Rawls was arrested in 1991 for an assault case there. As part of the deferred adjudication he was given a one year probation and $100 fine. On Friday Chief Buske said Rawls did not have a conviction in that case and was eligible to become a police officer in Bryan.

Tuesday afternoon KBTX asked Chief Buske if Rawls was getting an easier opportunity to exit now before their internal investigation was finished.

"I wouldn't say that he's gotten an easier exit. I mean he's giving up a 24 year career at the Bryan Police Department and I don't think, I'm certain that's not how he planned for it to end," said Buske.

Chief Buske wouldn't speculate on Rawls' future career plans.

"Yeah really can't because it really depends on the outcome of the pending criminal case... We're a high integrity police department and we expect that from all of our employees," he said.

The release from police also said the criminal case against Rawls is still active and under the purview of the Brazos County Attorney Rod Anderson. Rod Anderson told us Tuesday evening the case was just filed in the County Court at Law #1.