5 years, 5 months ago
The Spartanburg County Sheriff is known for speaking his mind, and at a news conference on Monday, he didn’t hold back his anger and frustration after a woman was attacked in a park over the weekend.
Investigators said 46-year-old Walter Lance grabbed a woman who was walking her dog in Milliken Park on Sunday afternoon. They said Lance choked the woman, made her take off her clothing and tried to rape her.
Lance is in custody and was denied bond on Monday.
Sheriff Chuck Wright opened his news conference by saying, “Our form of justice is not making it.”
He said, “Carry a concealed weapon. That’ll fix it.”
Wright said Lance had been charged numerous times with crimes again women, and other crimes such as resisting arrest and escape. Wright said Lance had been on probation for a federal gun charge.
He referred to Lance repeatedly as an “animal,” and expressed his disgust about Lance’s long record and the attack.
Wright said Lance has had more than 20 charges dating back to 1983.
Wright said Lance has been in jail more often than he has, and he runs the jail, and he said Lance gets out easier. Wright punctuated it by saying, “And I’m aggravated.”
He said he doesn’t believe every person needs to be kept in jail, but he said, “I don’t think this animal deserves to be out in our society, walking alongside our women.”
Wright said,”Liberals call me and tell me the chain-gang form of justice isn’t working. Well, let me inform you, your form of justice isn’t working either.”
He said Lance should not have had the right or opportunity to “violate a good, upstanding woman.”
“This is a horrific crime,” Wright said. “Her life was threatened so many times.”
He said Lance “doesn’t fight police or men folk — he just goes after women.” He said Lance is not married because, “No woman can stay married to him because he beats them down too much.”
Wright said, “It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it.” He said people are tired of doing the right thing and criminals getting away with their actions.
He said several times, “I want you to get a concealed weapons permit.”
Wright said, “I’m tired of looking at victims saying, ‘There’s life after this’ … I’m tired of saying, ‘We’re sorry, we can’t keep them in jail.'”
Wright said in his view, gun control is, “How fast can you can get the barrel of your gun back on the target?”
I know this county. It’s right down the road from me. And it’s refreshing to hear a law enforcement officer admit to the truth. LEOs are minutes away when crime happens in seconds. They cannot possibly prevent crimes except to keep the criminals off of the streets, and Sheriff Wright reminds us that this is a dubious proposition in spite of their best efforts.
And also take careful note. He doesn’t restrict his admonition to self defense inside the home or the so-called “castle doctrine.” He said, “It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it.”
Fix it indeed. One still has to be careful to be responsible and know the circumstances, know the law, have previously made the commitment to intervene in such circumstances (this requires some serious consideration), and be qualified with your weapon (trigger discipline, muzzle discipline, knowing what’s behind your target, knowing that the one attacked is in imminent bodily danger or in danger of sexual assault). But assuming these stipulations, the Sheriff knows what we all know. Law enforcement begins when your person is jeopardy, not when the police arrive on scene.