A realtor's home viewing turns to horror! A major mix-up ending with the homeowner in handcuffs.
“It was scary, and I was praying like please Lord don’t let him shoot any of us,” said real estate agent Regina Lee.
That’s all Lee said she could do.
“It was a confirmed appointment, it was definitely confirmed,” said Lee.
Jason Rickels is the Fire Chief in Tarrant, Alabama and is selling his home in Roswell.
According to Roswell police, that’s why Regina Lee and photographer Dwayne Brodie were there.
Police said they had an approved viewing of the house and were set to take some photos before Lee’s client arrived.
Police said Rickels saw the photo session through a camera and called his real estate agent to get them out.
“So I’m like well this is scheduled but if the owner doesn’t want me in there then fine we’ll leave immediately,” said Lee.
Lee said Fire Chief Rickels showed up as they got in their cars.
Police said he blocked them from leaving, got out of his car and pulled out a gun.
In a video recording of the aftermath you hear Dwayne yelling, "You pulled a f*** gun on me. Jumped in my car and broke my f*** camera."
Lee said they all identified themselves multiple times.
“I feel he didn’t see anything but the color of our skin because even the photographers had their logos of their companies on them,” said Lee.
Rickels told police he believed the group were scam artists.
He said he thought Dwayne’s camera was a gun, so he snatched it and smashed it.
Police though, didn't buy it. And after speaking with Rickels and his wife, Rickels was arrested.
“Their testimony was taken into consideration, you know we get two sides of every story, what they were speaking of did not seem to be an appropriate conclusion to have come to based on the totality of the circumstances of what took place that day,” said Officer Tim Lupo of the Roswell Police Department.
The fire chief was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, and Criminal damage to property - 2nd degree.
CBS46 reporter Jamie Kennedy spoke with the Mayor of Tarrant and Tarrant fire officers, all of whom had no idea of Rickels arrest.
Lee tells said afterwards a city official called her and said this isn’t the first time Rickels has been accused of racist actions. CBS46 is still working to confirm this.
In a statement, the newly elected Mayor of Tarrant AL said:
The City of Tarrant is aware of the current situation surrounding Fire Chief Jason Rickles. The City is taking this very seriously and is looking into any violations of City policy. As per City policy, we will refrain from commenting on any personal issues of personnel in a public forum.
Mayor Wayman Newton