No Charges For Ex-Officer Who Pulled Gun

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The Gila County Attorney's Office will not prosecute the retired police officer who held an innocent couple at gunpoint in August.

Believing Joshua Adkins, 27, and Josie Russell, 23, may have just robbed a bank, Rich Mack followed them home and ordered the couple to put their hands on the hood of their car while pointing his Glock 40 handgun.

According to Payson Police Department reports, Mack, 69, identified himself as a police officer although he retired from the Scottsdale Police Department in 1968, and is now a member, with no law enforcement authority, of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse.

The incident began when Adkins was trying to determine where a rattling noise was coming from in the trunk area of the couple's 1990 Toyota. While they were running errands, Adkins decided to get in the trunk while Russell drove.

Mack saw Adkins get out of the trunk, walk into the bank, walk out of the bank, and get back into the trunk. Believing the behavior was suspicious, Mack called police on a cell phone while he and his son followed the couple.

Mack told police the couple looked "a little bit suspicious as though they were ‘casing the joint'."

When Adkins and Russell parked in front of their home, Mack got out his gun and told them to put their hands on the hood of the car.

Adkins told police that Mack said "I'm a cop. You'd better do as I say. You guys are in enough trouble as it is."

Adkins said he asked Mack four times for official identification.

"Just trust me, the police are on their way. Turn around and shut up," he told the couple.

While Adkins and Russell said they were too scared to turn around to see whether the gun was actually pointed at them, witnesses' statements to police said Mack was pointing the gun at the couple.

When officers arrived at the scene, they told Mack to drop his gun, questioned the couple, and searched their car.

"There was no indication that they were anything other than a young couple that had been to the bank," Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner said.

Officers advised Mack that his actions were dangerous, and that he should have just been a good witness, and waited for police rather than take the law into his own hands.

"That's just the way we do it," Mack told the officers.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Sgt. John Bailey is in charge of posse operations and said Mack is a civilian and has no law enforcement powers. Bailey told Payson police that, in his opinion, Mack had no reasonable suspicion to legally detain the couple.

Reports were sent to the county attorney to determine whether Mack should be charged with aggravated assault. County Attorney, Daisy Flores, said that while Mack's conduct was reckless and irresponsible, there was not criminal intent and his intentions were to let law enforcement handle the situation.

"Clearly the victims should not have been subjected to this kind of treatment and there are civil remedies for their emotional and physical distress," Flores said. "However, there is insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute this suspect."

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