CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - A Camden High School ROTC instructor has been suspended from his job after being charged with pointing and presenting firearms at a person during an incident with a 12-year-old boy in December.
The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office arrested 51-year-old Timothy Loren Webb Wednesday, January 19.
Deputies say the incident happened at Webb's Lugoff home on Dec. 20. Webb's Laurel Court home in Lugoff joins the property of Ginger and Marcus Catoe. Ginger Catoe is a principal at Doby's Mill Elementary School. Investigators say Webb pointed a firearm at the Catoes' 12-year-old son.
The incident report states that Webb walked to his mailbox when the Catoes' Labrador Retriever started barking at Webb. The Catoes told investigators that they told their son to "go get the dog." The boy told investigators that when he went to the edge of his yard to get the dog, "Webb pointed a gun at the dog then at him," and warned the child that if the dog went back on his property that "he would shoot him." Investigators believe Webb was referring to shooting the dog.
Webb's attorney, Robert Butcher, says the story doesn't make sense. "He's been around weapons his whole life and to take it and to point it at a child, just doesn't make sense," said Butcher.
Butcher wouldn't allow Webb to talk with us, but said it wasn't a gun Webb pointed at the boy. "My client was carrying a Maglite-type flashlight," said Butcher. "They had had problems with the neighbor's dogs and other people's dogs in the neighborhood and he carried it out of habit."
Butcher says his client carried the flashlight for protection, and that the Catoes' dog has charged at him several times, even on his own property. "The dog came towards him, hackles up growling, threatening to bite," said Butcher. "Within feet, close enough to where he could have kicked the dog. "It's very hard to imagine that he would point a weapon at a child."
The report shows that sheriff's investigators found Webb at home and talked with him about the incident. One month later, on Jan. 20, sheriff's deputies arrested Webb after a county magistrate judge R. Eugene Hartis signed a warrant on charges that Webb, "did unlawfully and not in self-defense point [sic] firearm at the juvenile victim … while said victim was in the back yard of his own residence," according to the warrant.
Webb was booked and bonded out of the county detention center the same day, according to booking records. "Hardest thing they're going to have to prove is a guy who's never been arrested before, who's served as a professional and a field grade officer in the United States Army, a man who works with children is going to go to the mailbox and check his mail and carry a pistol," said Butcher.
School district superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan suspended Webb, according to a statement emailed to WIS by district public information officer, Mary Anne Byrd.
Morgan, who declined an interview concerning the arrest, wrote: "Upon learning of the allegations, Col. Webb was immediately placed on leave to allow the District to conduct a thorough investigation. The District has also been in touch with the Kershaw County Sheriff's Department since the allegations were brought to its attention. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement while this matter is pending."
Byrd said Webb as been at Camden High since 2007 and works with the drill and rifle team in the fall.
Court records show Timothy Webb filed a civil suit filed eight days after the incident at his mailbox. Webb is suing over allegations that the Catoes' dog is a nuisance, dog attack, trespassing, and assault. The suit alleges that the Catoes' dog is vicious and has "aggressively charged and attempted to attack" Webb.
Marcus Catoe declined an on-camera interview Monday, but did say, "Our son's going to be alright."