Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Alleged DUI-Deputies: Lieutenant Aaron Brown and Detective Stephen Palmer

My general rule when it comes to drinking is that I do mine at home. Life is so much simpler that way.

It's a bit of wisdom two of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's boys in beige might profit from: MCSO Lieutenant Aaron Brown and sex crimes detective Stephen Palmer, both of whom are charged with driving while impaired in separate incidents that occurred this past fall.

Brown, 37, is accused of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above, and Palmer, 33, is charged with extreme DUI, driving with a blood alcohol content of .20 or above.

As far as I can tell, each man is still working for the MCSO, and their cases are pending in city courts: Palmer's in Phoenix, Brown's in Tempe.

Read Lieutenant Aaron Brown's arrest report.

I say, "as far as I can tell," because the MCSO refuses to answer questions about either man, including whether or not they have been disciplined. I have requested each deputy's personnel file from the sheriff's office, to see if there is a record of any discipline.

Read Special Victims Unit detective Stephen Palmer's arrest report. (NB: A charge of driving with a blood alcohol content of .20 or above was added after this report was filed.)

Brown's November arrest occurred after an unusual incident at Tempe's Tailgate Sports Bar, where his fiancee was suspected of setting a garbage can on fire inside the establishment.

Tempe police officer J. Werhnyak responded to the call, spotted a white GMC truck leaving the property and followed. When Brown, who was driving, allegedly failed to halt at a stop sign, Werhnyak pulled the truck over.

According to Werhnyak's report of the incident, Brown's fiancee Joy Presley and a man named Masamichi Wakimoto were in the vehicle with him. Brown threw his keys to Presley, who then ran into Brown's house behind a locked security gate.

As the report tells it, Brown, who was armed, was none too happy with being pulled over.

"The male driver had a thousand mile stare and looked very angry," writes Werhnyak. "He advanced toward me and I ordered him to stop but he continued. After the second warning, I drew my Taser. I pointed it at his center of mass and he stopped.

"I told both males to sit down and the Asian male complied. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Aaron Brown did not. Instead he advised he was a Lieutenant with "County," and stated he knows how these things go. I ordered him to the ground again just as Officer Couillard approached and yelled for him to sit down."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons