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Monday July 28th 2014

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Questions Emerge in Trailer Park Altercation

A man involved in a Saturday incident at a Creighton Road trailer park says the scene did not unfold the way it is described in an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office report.

“I definitely got beat up,” Devon Walker said this morning. “The police beat me up.”

In the ECSO report, Devon Walker is listed as both a suspect and a victim. The report details an incident in which Walker and two other men—Dustin Allen Burns and Ryan Scott McGuire, also listed as both suspects and victims—were involved in an altercation. The report describes all three as injured and drunk, and states that no charges were filed.

“It was not the guys in the trailer,” Walker explained.

According to the incident report, officers responded to an incident at Creighton Road Trailer Park. They reportedly arrived to find “two white males lying on the floor with blood on them and also a black male laying on the floor with blood on him—all inside the trailer.”

The report states that Burns identified himself as the owner of the trailer. He told officers he invited a group of people—including Walker and his wife—back to his place after a night of drinking at O’Reily’s Pub.

The report states that Burns told officers that an altercation broke out, in which Walker brandished a gun. A relative of Walker then reportedly attempted to “calm everything down,” taking the gun and leaving.

The report also states that McGuire attributed the altercation to an argument over a cell phone. However, the report states that Tiffany Walker, Devon’s wife, said the problem arose because Burns “wanted to have sex with a white female friend of hers and when she refused, he became belligerent, angry and started a fight.”

That is not the account of events the Walkers provided the IN with today.

“The sheriff department beat my husband up,” Tiffany Walker said.

Tiffany described a scene in which the couple was leaving the trailer after an argument over the cell phone erupted. Devon said that the owner of the trailer, Burns, was apologizing for the incident and that McGuire was using racial slurs and saying he had called the authorities.

“He told’em, ‘this is the guy, this is the N-word that robbed me,’” explained Tiffany, describing the scene as sheriff officers arrived.

Devon Walker—who denies having a gun—said the officers told Burns and McGuire to “go into the house and relax.” Then, he contends, they beat him up.

“The officer grabbed one of my arms and threw me to the ground,” Walker said. “And then another one stepped on my face.”

The ECSO incident report states that all three men—Walker, Burns and McGuire—were injured. While Walker was transported via ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital, the other two men refused treatment. No charges were filed, apparently, because everyone was drunk— “due to the state of the intoxication of the individuals involved, it was not possible to determine the primary aggressor at the time of this report.”

ECSO Spokeswoman Sena Maddison said today that she had no information on the incident beyond the report.

“What we have in the report is what we have,” she said.

Sheriff David Morgan reiterated that point, but said the ECSO is concerned and “baffled” about the surfacing “rumors.”

“We too are wondering what this is about,” he said.

The sheriff also alluded to “rumors that there is audio and video out there.” He said such information would be useful.

“Please, bring it forward,” the sheriff said.

When asked about the existence of any recordings, Walker said that he had been advised by his attorney not to discuss that aspect. The attorney, Christopher Chestnut, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Walker said he would talk further with the attorney present.

“Our plan is to get justice,” he said. “I don’t feel as though officers should be able to take their power and abuse it.”

Burns could also not be reached for comment this morning. McGuire was contacted, but declined to comment on the incident.

“If you’re not in law enforcement, I’m not talking to you,” he said when reached by phone. “It doesn’t need to be discussed with anybody.”

According to the sheriff’s office report, there is no official video documentation of this incident.

“I attempted to create and download an event of this incident from Deputy Grandberry’s video camera,” the report states. “There appears to be a problem with the hard drive as an event could not be created. Deputy Saltarelli’s vehicle is not equipped with a video camera, so there is no video documentation of this incident.”

ECSO incident report:  13021722