By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Local, county and state law enforcement officers usually find themselves plenty busy during fair week and this year was no exception.
However, two particular incidents late Friday night and early Saturday morning remain under investigation and have resulted in felony charges being filed.
The first incident occurred about 11:24 Friday night at the west edge of the school parking lot near the fairgrounds.
According to Imperial Police Chief Rob Browning, a pickup driven by Bradley Kinnan, 42, of Kearney, struck a vehicle in the parking lot. The hitch ball on the pickup locked into the grill of the second vehicle.
Browning said bystanders helped Kinnan free his pickup from the other vehicle.
Browning said one of the bystanders then allegedly reached for a cooler in the back of Kinnan’s pickup.
Allegedly, Kinnan came out of the pickup with a handgun and drew up on one of the bystanders who had helped free the pickup, Browning said.
Browning said another of the bystanders separated the gun from Kinnan. After that, Tanner Jones of North Platte, the bystander who allegedly had the gun pointed at him, allegedly attacked Kinnan.
Browning said it was a chaotic situation when they arrived. To control the situation, he said four different people were immediately handcuffed while police and sheriff’s deputies sorted things out.
Kinnan was later transported to the Chase County Community Hospital. He suffered facial lacerations and an orbital (eye) fracture.
He was later taken into custody and jailed. He posted 10 percent of a $50,000 bond Sunday afternoon and was released, Browning said.
On Tuesday, the police chief said charges have been filed against both Kinnan and Jones.
He said Kinnan was charged with a pair of felony charges—the use of a weapon to commit a felony and making terroristic threats.
Jones has been charged with misdemeanor 3rd degree assault.
That same night, at 1:20 a.m. Saturday morning, officers were called to a domestic disturbance.
When the police officer and sheriff’s deputy entered the home, they found Gualberto Gamboa-Molina, 38, allegedly holding a four- to six-inch knife in a threatening manner, causing them to draw their weapons.
He was then subdued by one of the officers, arrested and placed in the Chase County jail.
Browning said the man will be charged with making terroristic threats, use of a weapon to commit a felony, 3rd degree domestic assault and child abuse.
Browning also wanted to warn parents and youths about a situation that could have led to unintended consequences.
About 10:45 p.m. Saturday night, officers were responding to a report of a fight on the edge of the fairgrounds north parking lot.
As they were responding, they witnessed an individual in a crouched position near a combine parked in the lot. The individual appeared to have a gun drawn to a shooting position. As a result, Browning said officers drew their weapons.
What they found was seven young pre-teens and teenagers who had brought their airsoft pistols to the fair and were playing airsoft wars amongst each other in the parking lot.
Browning said the situation could have been much worse, had an officer mistakenly fired on the individual.
He said the airsoft pistol was almost indistinguishable from a real pistol. In addition, the subject was in a crouched, shooting position with the toy gun in hand.
Browning said they confiscated the airsoft pistols and called each of the youth’s parents to notify them of the situation.
Browning said this can be a valuable lesson learned for all parents and youngsters when it comes to playing with toy guns in a public setting.
Browning said they were never able to find the fight that was reported.