A routine call for a welfare check on Sunday, Sept. 22, to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office turned out to be anything but routine. Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Chance Maddox and his trainee partner, Deputy Vicki Gardiner, were dispatched to the call. What transpired and how Deputy Maddox handled the situation led to his selection as the LCSO Employee of the Month for October 2019.
According to LCSO Sheriff’s Capt. Ken DeFoor, a spokesperson for the agency, following the initial call for a welfare check came the information that the subject had emotional issues. Information from the family assured the deputies that the man had no guns or other weapons and was only being difficult to handle.
Maddox and Gardiner arrived on CR 308 in north Liberty County quickly, and after talking to some relatives, they started approaching the mobile home that sits on a rather exposed piece of property.
As the deputies neared the front door, they saw a man standing inside by a large plate glass window holding an AR15 rifle and obviously trying work the mechanism while a relative stood in the doorway. With no cover available in the front yard, Maddox quickly ran to the side of the mobile home while Gardiner stayed close to the side of the building and covered the back door.
“…Each deputy was well aware the thin walls of the mobile home and their handguns would be no match for the AR15 rifle if this situation got out of control,” wrote DeFoor in his emailed statement. “It was obvious this situation was becoming critical and could result in a possible shooting incident, so following normal safety policy, Maddox requested back-up units to assist. However, lacking enough manpower in the county, the closest responding unit was a DPS Trooper responding from Hwy. 90 and the Harris County line – a good 25 minutes away.”
According to DeFoor, the relative went inside the home and tried to talk the man into dropping the AR15. However, the man reportedly was convinced that the deputies were his enemy and he vowed to defend himself at all costs.
“The relative managed to grab the barrel of the AR15 while Maddox rushed in and immediately neutralized the situation by the use of his less than lethal tazer. The individual, who had been diagnosed with PTSD but off his medication for some time, was secured and sent to a hospital for evaluation. However his parting comment was somewhat chilling when he told the deputies, ‘This was your lucky day because I have never had a gun jam on me before.’”
Sgt. Tommy Koen who recommended Maddox for this monthly honor said, “ Deputy Maddox took charge of the situation and placed the other deputy around the building while keeping the other relatives a safe distance from the incident, thus assuring their safety as well and all the while bringing this situation to a successful and non-lethal conclusion.”
Deputy Maddox graduated from the University of Houston Downtown in May of 2012. After gaining experience with theLiberty, Dayton and Baytown municipal police departments, he joined the LCSO in May of 2017. Since his graduation from the Police Academy, he has amassed more than 2,000 hours of various police class training hours. He presently holds an Intermediate classification while only being a few hours away from earning his Advanced certification.
Not one to be idle in his spare time, he has been a race car driver since he was 17 years old. He presently races his 2018 Mustang on controlled flat tracks at places like the Baytown speedway and other nearby state tracks. He said he hopes that his style of racing under controlled conditions will encourage others to take their racing off the public streets and onto the controlled atmosphere of a well-supervised race track.
According to Maddox, his desire to become a law enforcement officer is long standing and he looks forward to a long career in his chosen field.