DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Tuesday, charges were filed against Boone County jailer John McCormick following a fight at the Good Guys car show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Witnesses say he pulled a gun on a 69-year-old man after feeling the man endangered a group of kids when he performed a burnout. While you can carry a handgun at the Statehouse, the state fairgrounds are off-limits, even if you have a permit.
“So prohibited zones would be a school, a casino, the fairgrounds is a prohibited zone by administrative rule unless you are a peace officer or there is a pre-approval by the fair board to carry it there,” said attorney Matt Lindholm.
A fair spokesperson says McCormick was not approved to carry and was charged with impersonating a peace officer after witnesses say he identified himself as a Boone County sheriff's deputy. He was also charged with carrying while intoxicated and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. Lindholm says penalties could be stiff, carrying while intoxicated is a serious misdemeanor and carrying in a prohibited zone, as well as the assault, is an aggravated misdemeanor.
“An aggravated misdemeanor would be up to two years in prison and a serious misdemeanor would be up to a year in jail,” said Lindholm.
According to the Ames Tribune, Boone County Sheriff Gregg Elsberry is supporting McCormick, quoting him as saying:
As far as an employee goes, he is a very good employee for me so I stand behind with what the reports I had been given to me by the State Fair and the police reports and from what John had told me. I’m supporting John on it. Obviously, with this new chain of events (the filing of charges) I`m still supporting John until the outcome of (the case)
Elsberry also told the Tribune that he revoked McCormick's carry permit due to the charges.
Channel 13 reached out to Elsberry multiple times on Wednesday without response.