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home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

4/17/2012 6:00:00 AM
County employee arrested for on-job incident
Clifford Olsen
Clifford Olsen

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

A Mohave County Public Works employee was arrested last week after he allegedly pointed a gun to a colleague's head during a prank.

Maintenance crew leader Clifford Olsen, 57, was jailed on aggravated assault charges after a co-worker said Olsen approached him while on the job last Tuesday and placed him in a chokehold. Olsen then allegedly held a handgun to the employee's head.

The employee, along with several witnesses, said it appeared that Olsen was joking or trying to show off, according to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office, which is handling the investigation of the incident.

Mohave County Public Information Officer Darryle Purcell deferred comment on the matter to the Sheriff's Office, including whether Olsen is authorized to carry a firearm while on the job, even though Olsen was employed directly by the county.

Sheriff's Spokeswoman Trish Carter said Olsen admitted to owning a .380 handgun and a .45 handgun, although it's not clear if either of those were the gun used in the incident. Olsen also reportedly said that he "horses around" with the guys at work, but denied pointing a weapon at anyone.

Olsen was booked into the Mohave County Jail Thursday on a single felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Olsen was honored by the Board of Supervisors in October after rescuing the pilot of an ultralight aircraft who had flown into power lines near Davis Dam on Aug. 18. Olsen rescued the man from his sinking aircraft and swam him to shore.

When interviewed for that article, Olsen said his duties at Davis Dam include maintaining landscaping, septic systems, pump stations and plumbing at the visitor attraction.

Olsen was hired in March 2010. He was put on administrative leave with pay the same day the alleged incident occurred.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Article comment by: HR professional

@ No Work, No Pay - In most cases you cannot pull someone's pay until you have determined that they are in fact guilty of committing an act that warrants termination and usually that means waiting until the investigation is complete (no matter who handles the investigation). It is similar to the idea that you aren't guilty until proven so in a court of law. No matter how clear it appears to be, there is always more to a story than what you read in the paper.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: Olaf Clifton

With Richard Weldon being gone county security is a joke now, this man was doing only what was necessary to protect him from the other vicious blood thirsty county parks employees. Speaking of which, have you readers even been to Davis Camp? The folks that run it were in The Hills Have Eyes.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: No Work, No Pay

So, this dude gets put on administrative leave with pay. Now he gets paid for doing nothing.

Can someone explain how this is different from what it was before the incident?

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: Am I Missing Something?

I have to say that I'm surprised at this. I also have to say that you really have to be devoid of any common sense to put a handgun to someones head and call it "horsing around". Just a plain stupid thing to do.

However... did he really assualt the man with it? I'm not sure, but it seems to me the charge should be different. Perhaps there is no other charge for such an incident?

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: a l

What ever happened with the follow up for Richard Weldon? What is his status?

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: I love guns

Guns are not toys. In todays world guns freak alot of people out. With our very liberal carry laws people tend to get careless about them.

Ive done my share of "horseplay" at work. However, A gun in not needed at work. Unless you are a police officer, handler of large sums of cash, or transport people with unpredictible tendencies. I'll use cab driver as an example.

Horse play with a gun anywhere is just plain stupid. Lots of graves are filled with people that were holding "empty" guns.

If this man was ignorant enough to carry his gun to work. His job description doesnt mention any valid reasons to carry a weapon. Im thinking his employer is NOT going to back up the choice he made to carry at work.

If the man was horseplaying with a firearm. If he did indeed point it at a coworkers head. I dont have any sympathy for him. If I were his employer he would be history. If I were the coworker. He would have charges filed and needing a very good lawyer.

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Article comment by: Plumber with a gun!

Well it sounds like Public Works only has 111 workers for that new 6 million dollar building now.

Why would a landscaper be bringing a gun to work and who the heck is supervising these people. Why are our tax dollars paying for people to "horse around" at work?

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