The northern California city of Walnut Creek is the location of a bizarre incident that has landed a local police officer on administrative leave. Gregory Thompson, who is described as a 53 year old police veteran was arrested in August for allegedly attacking a woman in the early morning hours as she walked in a residential area. Not that police brutality is anything to be surprised about in 2014 America, especially with the federal government encouraging more aggressive attitudes by giving away surplus military equipment. What makes the Walnut Creek case an oddity is that officer Thompson was off duty and wearing a mask when the attack took place.

According to a story from the website of Oakland television station KTVU entitled“Walnut Creek officer accused of beating woman with bat”:

A man who’d been in charge of upholding the law for three decades is now accused of breaking it.

Richmond police arrested an off-duty Walnut Creek Police Officer for allegedly donning a mask and beating a woman with a baseball bat on August 16. The attack happened around 2 a.m., in a residential neighborhood on Clinton and San Pablo avenues in Richmond.

53-year-old Gregory Thompson has been with the Walnut Creek Police Department for 30 years. He was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and felony vandalism after the attack.

Neighbors on Clinton Avenue recalled the commotion they heard the morning of the attack, around 2 a.m..

“We’d already gone to bed, kept hearing a banging, thumping noise,” neighbor Carus Culver, said.

Richmond police came to the area after getting several calls from neighbors about a woman screaming

“Police came knocking on our doors,” neighbor Jason Peneyra, said. “They were looking for a suspect.”

That suspect turned out to be Thompson

“A woman came down the street yelling that he had tried to attack her and another woman,” Culver recalled.

Richmond police found Thompson sitting in his car nearby and said he identified himself as a law enforcement officer. Investigators found a mask on the floor of his car and a baseball bat in the trunk.

“It’s alarming for a police officer to do that,” Peneyra said. “That’s weird. That’s really weird.”

But what is even more “weird” is an account from the website of the San Francisco Chronicle that provides additional detail on the contents of Thompson’s car:

Richmond Police Capt. Bisa French says the 53-year-old Thompson was not wearing a police uniform or in a patrol car at the time of the alleged random attack. Officers discovered Thompson inside a car and found a ski mask as well as a baseball bat, two guns and zip ties.

The presence of the “zip ties” adds a particularly kinky element to the story.  If this is what some cops get their kicks out of doing on their off time then it is obvious that there are terrible personality types being attracted to the police profession. In addition to recruitment problems there seems to be an absence of proper training as well as protocol and adequate internal controls are not being implemented. You would think that regular psychological evaluations would be a requirement for police work these days to quickly detect trauma related disorders. Such screenings are badly needed  now that the quaint old slogan of “to protect and to serve” has been tossed away in favor of the unspoken rule of “to search and to destroy”.

This is seriously strange story but alas there will be tales that even stranger forthcoming as America completes the transformation into an authoritarian, fascist police state.