FBI Agent Criminally Charged After Accidentally Shooting Bar Patron In Dancing Accident



We previously discussed the accident involving an off-duty FBI agent whose service weapon fell out while doing a back flip on a dance floor in Denver. Chase Bishop has now charged with assault.  The charge is problematic in my view.  I have been a long critic of the criminalization of negligence and civil violations for years.  This seems like a clear case of negligence that could be properly handled in a torts action and internal disciplinary actions at the FBI.

The second-degree assault charge is allowed under a provision covering any injury through the reckless handing of a gun:

Universal Citation: CO Rev Stat § 18-3-203 (2016)

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if:

. . .

(d) He recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon . . .

In this case,  Bishop is being cited for not better securing his weapon.  There is no word on the blood alcohol tests performed after the shooting of the bar patron in the leg.

Unless there was intoxication or other aggravating circumstances, I do not view this as necessarily a criminal as opposed to a civil matter.

What do you think?

89 thoughts on “FBI Agent Criminally Charged After Accidentally Shooting Bar Patron In Dancing Accident”

  1. Where is the BAC?? You can get instant drug test results, why is the BAC not being disclosed? It doesn’t have to be at a certain level to be a crime, *any* alcohol would make this a more serious charge. That’s an instant test but even given that, this has been well over 2 weeks. Give us a + or -, that’s all that’s needed.

  2. We’re this a US military officer and that officer was carrying such a weapon legally he would at the very least be discharged from the service with an administrative separation if not separated through courts martial. Surely, the agent will answer for this in civil court. Is this a criminal matter, of course not! In any case his FBI career is over.

    1. Jerry Degiorgio – the FBI has a Fail Upward policy so this agent will be fast-tracked to be the head of the FBI. Remember his name and those dance moves when his confirmation hearing comes up. 😉

  3. OMG Turley; loaded gun + bar+ showoff back flip by FBI agent + gun discharge + bodily injury = criminal negligence. Why does our soft society even engage in debate on this? This “public servant” works for the same federal government that ruined life Michael Flynn for interview inconsistencies. C’mon man!

  4. What do you think?

    Why would a highly trained professional law enforcement agent carry a loaded firearm into a bar?

    Why would a highly trained professional law enforcement agent have a round chambered in his firearm while in a bar?

    In this unfortunate incident having a round chambered in your firearm can be construed as criminally negligent as was seen in the video where Chase Bishop bends over to retrieve his firearm and squeezes off a round into an unsuspecting customer.

    If the round had not been chambered when Mr. Bishop retrieved his firearm and accidently squeezed the trigger no shot would have been fired and thus no persons injured.

  5. The guy is a showoff and negligent. But why charge the fool with a crime? I do not recommend it. No specific intent, for starters.

  6. What is particularly upsetting to me is that the gun did not discharge when it hit the floor. It discharged when he picked it up which means that he had to have put a finger on the trigger in doing so. He violated every rule of shooter safety both in loosing the gun in the first place and, even more so, in not following proper procedure and his training when he picked it up.

  7. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “…a dupe which will live in infamy.”

    What in God’s name are you doing, Jeff?

    The entire “7th Floor” should have been “criminally charged” a long time ago.

    This bar accident is a metaphor describing the treason and crimes of high office of the leadership of the FBI.

    The FBI was dancing with Obama and its guns went off.

    “[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page, who also worked on Mueller’s staff, responded.

    “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok texted back.

    There is a cancer growing on the FBI.

    What did Christopher Wray know and when did he know it?

      1. Your reading comprehension issues continue unabated.

      2. You are out of your —-ing mind.

        Not to put too fine a point on it.

        Imagine a country in which people listen to the likes of you.

        It would actually be an insane asylum wherein lies, untruths and fabrications would have rotted the cranial processes of the patients.

      3. Bettykath:

        That would only make sense if they had been discussing Russian meddling. However, they were not. They were talking about not wanting Trump elected.

        As for Russian meddling, it was actually Hillary Clinton who paid a foreign agent to get fraudulent information from Russian spies to be used as opposition research, which also formed the basis of an FBI investigation against her political opponent.

        I’d say the Russians meddled quite effectively in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

        1. Karen, The Feds could have witnessed HRC handing a brown paper bag of money to Michael Steele and still would not have investigated or relayed that info to Muler. It is no secret that funds were wired to Fushion GPS from HRC law firm for the purpose of funding Steele’s Russian hit piece. No dispute about these facts yet “legendary” Muler prefers chasing windmills which gives him power and prestige (in his eyes). This will all backfire on Muler and he will become poster child for our new form of Gestapo police tactics run amok. His picture will be featured next to Joseph McCarthy.

      4. Betty Boop – what are you talking about? You read into what you want to believe. Quoting Steve Marriucci: “Believe what you see”.

    1. Please lend your interpretive powers and investigative skills to the mysteries of the Sandy Hook conspiracy; the World Trade Center false flag attack; the Grassy Knoll coverup; and, the One-World-protected Trilateral Commission. Thanks, I have to keep changing locations to avoid detection so I’ll hang up and listen.

      this is to “I told ’em I don’t need any meds” georgie

  8. If one assumes there was the consumption of etoh prior to the back flip (and who does this on a dance floor in a bar sober?) then it was a crime. The reverse of Prof Turley’s position requires that criminality not be pawned off as negligence. It is illegal to possess a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in Denver.

    1. “and who does this on a dance floor in a bar sober?)”

      Plenty of idiots including F.B.I. agents.

    2. The problem is that he was charged with second degree assault not illegal possession of a firearm. In Colorado, that requires the intent to threaten which of course he didn’t even under a tortured definition of men’s rea. Or it requires reckless conduct resulting in battery, since we don’t know his BAC we can’t yet possibly determine if his conduct was wanton disregard of another’s safety or just plain stupid (negligence) apart from the alcohol consumption. Do you practice law somewhere?

  9. This bar accident is a metaphor describing the treason and crimes of high office of the leadership of the FBI.

    The FBI was dancing with Obama and its guns went off.

    “[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page, who also worked on Mueller’s staff, responded.

    “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok texted back.

    There is a cancer growing on the FBI.

    What did Christopher Wray know and when did he know it?

  10. There are two major components that deserve attention in the criminal law. One is the intent to harm someone else’s person or property. The other is the actual harm done to someone else’s person or property.

    Here you have one of the two.

    Yet we have plenty of laws where the prosecutor doesn’t have to show either — unless you want to claim drug laws i.e. laws where a person may harm themselves — not somebody else — a concept I find problematic in terms of criminalization.

    In other words, we have plenty of laws where the prosecutor has no requirement to show intent to harm someone else’s person or property, nor to show that someone else’s person or property has been harmed.

    I’m more concerned about those — which legislators and “we the people” seem to be flocking to like pigs to a trough.

    1. The term of art you are seeking is “strict liability crime.” You accurate in your statement that such offenses have become more prevalent in recent times.

      to stevej

  11. This is one of those times when I wish our host would engage in the comments. I am curious on his reasoning for not criminalizing neglect, and if he could sell it to me.

    My assumption is that he requires intent for criminality. Although I wholeheartedly agree with this concerns on criminalizing inconsequential actions, I am unsure of his reasonings against criminalizing serious neglect.

    I can think of many cases of neglect that are currently criminal:

    1. Killing someone while driving intoxicated. They did not intend to kill anyone, but were neglectful when they operated a moving vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    2. All those heartbreaking tragedies where people leave their children in a hot car, or alone in an apartment, and they die.
    3. Horders neglect their animals until they are feral, diseased, injured, or dead.
    4. Allowing a child unsupervised access to a firearm is considered neglect nowadays, which I agree with, just as with chemicals and medications.
    5. General child neglect – where children are malnourished, not clothed for the elements, not sheltered, etc are generally treated as serious issues.

    I think there is room to make the punishment fit the crime, or even remove the criminal element from some unintentional crimes, making it a civil matter, but not all.

    1. I don’t have a Glock. Mine has a different safety mechanism. But I have shot them numerous times years ago. From what I remember, the Glock safety is to prevent it from firing if dropped. A deliberate trigger pull fires it. I don’t remember there being a manual thumb safety. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      In this case, the FBI agent did a series of unbelievably irresponsible things. Was it gross negligence or extremely careless? I can’t tell if he had a waste holster or if he just stuck it in his waistband. The latter would be careless. Doing a flip with a weapon was careless. And then, when he picked up his firearm, he would have had to put his finger in the trigger guard for it to fire. You never put your finger in the guard until and unless you are ready to fire. Grabbing at it like that was probably instinct, combined with the suspension of higher reasoning from alcohol. It wouldn’t have fired from being dropped, but it sure as heck would if he pulled the trigger. It would have been better, obviously, to not grab at it but let it fall and carefully pick it up. But our brains make us act before we think sometimes. I knew someone who sliced her hand on a kitchen knife she’d dropped. She instinctively grabbed it as it fell, instead of just scooting her feet out of the way and letting it drop.

      He could have killed someone. He could have killed himself. Even if his victim only suffered a flesh wound, he’ll still bear the scar. The wound may have numbness. It could affect his musculature or whatever. Plus, it would have been really scary to be shot.

      Totally preventable accident. Excessive alcohol and firearms don’t mix. I am assuming that he was drunk, but actually have no idea. Doing flips with a gun is only cool in the movies.

    2. Karen S:
      Good question! We don’t criminalize negligence ( though we do civilly sanction it) because it is merely the wont of ordinary care which we see every day. It’s a lower quality offense that doesn’t rise to a harm against the state because the actor doesn’t intend the harm nor is he reckless. Torts of negligence are distinguished from crimes against the state based on intent (mens rea) not outcome.

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