Randall Lyons, the Columbus Ohio police officer who was recently placed on desk duty pending investigation into allegations that he dragged a woman from her vehicle and put a gun to her head in front of her children while he was off-duty has been disciplined several times in the past. His numerous violations stem from minor infractions to at least one other incident where he pulled his weapon in public.
Some sources say one incident occurred in 2007 while others list 2006 as the year that Officer Lyons was disciplined for falsifying applications at two different apartment complexes in order to become a security officer at those apartments. According to the Columbus Dispatch, it is “common for complexes to hire officers to respond to situations in exchange for free rent.” When his dishonesty was discovered, Randall Lyons was suspended for 80 hours.
In 2011, Lyons drew his weapon on several teens with a BB gun who allegedly injured the daughter of a woman Lyons was dating. According to Shirley Bryant, who witnessed the incident and was quoted by 10-TV News, Lyons threatened to “stomp their face in” if they moved. Bryant said Lyons held the teenagers at gunpoint while yelling and cursing at them. After an internal affairs investigation, Lyons was disciplined for violation of a policy in which Columbus police officers are required to “avoid direct enforcement actions in situations in which they have a personal interest.”
Other incidents in which Lyons was disciplined includes conduct unbecoming an officer and failure to comply with a direct order.
In September 2013, Officer Lyons was put on desk duty and his gun and badge confiscated due to a complaint filed by Crystal Curenton. Curenton reported that Lyons, who did not initially identify himself as a Columbus police officer, forced Curenton to pull her vehicle over, pulled her out of her vehicle, tried to force her to the ground and held a gun to her head in front of her children. Officer Lyons was not on duty at the time. Apparently, Ms. Curenton brushed the mirror of the vehicle Lyons was driving with her own vehicle. Lyons caught up with her and that is when the incident occurred, according to Curenton.
In an exclusive interview with 10-TV News on September 17, Officer Lyons told a reporter that he was innocent of the charges against him. He even chuckled once during the discussion of the allegations. He claimed that Curenton swerved into him on purpose.
While Officer Randall Lyons currently remains on desk duty and his gun and badge have not yet been returned to him, he has not yet been charged with any criminal offenses or departmental violations. The investigation is on-going.
The insistence in complete honesty by Columbus Police Department officers may be at least partially due to a list created in 2012 which tracks dishonest officers. The purpose of the list is “to better track conduct that usually gets cops fired.” POLICE Magazine quoted Columbus Police Chief Kimberly Jacobs, who said that “Our integrity must be unquestioned, so anybody that damages that integrity by being untruthful is looking at the loss of their position,” in an interview for the Columbus Dispatch.
After he learned about the list, Lyons was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch article as saying, “An officer is supposed to be truthful at all times, and I understand that. But now it seems if they label you with untruthfulness, you are scarred for the rest of your career. And people need to understand that there is a very gray line here to determine being untruthful, and yet you can be put on this list forever.”
While Officer Lyons has numerous violations, he also has several awards for his service.