Hampton County deputy arrested in Bluffton

rlurye@islandpacket.comJanuary 7, 2014 

Johnnie Lee Bryant III

SUBMITTED PHOTO

A Hampton County sheriff's deputy was arrested Sunday after allegedly pointing a gun at his neighbors in Bluffton, according to a Bluffton Police Department report.

Johnnie Lee Bryant III, 29, told police he was inside his Sugar Maple Street home at about 9 p.m. Sunday when he noticed a Honda Civic parked on his lawn. Bryant grabbed his service weapon and walked across the street to ask his neighbors if they knew who the car belonged to, the report said.

After he rang their door bell, a dog aggressively charged toward him, Bryant told police. He said he drew his gun and pointed it at the ground as he called for his neighbors to control the dog.

The residents, however, said Bryant repeatedly threatened them and pointed his gun at them and the dog, the report said.

Bryant allegedly told them, "I'm going to warn you one time," and identified himself as a law enforcement officer while refusing to show a badge, the neighbors told police.

At one point, the neighbors said they would get their own guns, according to the report.

Witnesses told police that Bryant pointed his gun at the dog, but added that he tried to reason with his neighbors as one of them yelled profanities at him.

Bryant was charged with two felony counts of pointing a firearm at a person, according to the jail log. He posted a $20,000 bond Monday.

The Hampton County Sheriff's Office declined comment on the incident.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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