Gilmer officers on leave after investigation into failure to respond

Published: Jan. 12, 2016 at 9:57 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2016 at 12:44 AM CST
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GILMER, TX (KLTV) - A disturbance at the Gilmer Walmart has led to two East Texas police officers being put on paid leave.

On December 29, a disturbance at the supercenter prompted management to call the Gilmer Police Department.

City Manager Jeff Ellington said, "One thing I was told was he was crowing like a rooster and barking like a dog; just strange."

The manager's calls did not result in a physical response by Gilmer Police.

"For whatever reason, no officer went, and that's not acceptable," Ellington said.

Walmart provided a statement saying, in part, "...we had several customers complain about a fellow customer in the store causing a disturbance. Per store procedure, management called the police and were told to call back if the situation escalated further. The customer then left the store."

Ellington identified the subject in Walmart as Edward Romero, and explained what he understood happened later that day.

"It's my understanding he left Gilmer, went to some other town and was involved in some type of car crash."

A Corsicana crash report lists Romero as the driver in a crash that sent two to the hospital, after Romero allegedly ran a red light. He was arrested for DWI, his second offense.

Ellington said Gilmer Sergeant Herman Montgomery and Officer Heath Littlejohn were placed on paid administrative leave for their inaction regarding the Walmart disturbance call.

"It's absolutely unacceptable. One of our police department policies is, if there's a call, you go."

Ellington said their investigation into Montgomery and Littlejohn is ongoing, and they expect to have a final report and decision in the next week or so.

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