By: Friedrich Seiltgen
Copyright © 2022
On July 7th, federal agent James Burk of the BATF was working an assignment in Columbus, Ohio. Burk was attempting to contact a subject who was in possession of a shotgun but was not permitted to own firearms. Burk knocked on the door of the residence, and the subject inside refused to open the door. He then called 911, giving the dispatcher the badge number on Burk’s ID card that was hanging from a lanyard around Burk’s neck.
Usually this is not a problem; dispatch will call the communications center of the agency in question to confirm if they have personnel at that location. I had to do this once with an IRS agent. On this occasion, the dispatcher advised the caller to stay inside and not open the door. Columbus Police Officers Joseph Fihe & Kevin Winchell were dispatched. Upon arrival, they saw Burk by the front door of the residence and immediately ordered him to get on the ground!
Burk refused to get on the ground stating he was a Federal Agent and offered to show his badge. The officers continued to order Burk to the ground, and he finally complied. The officers attempted to secure Burk and he resisted. Burk was tased, handcuffed, and placed into the back of a patrol car. Prior to being tased, Burk told the officers, “You guys are making a big mistake.” Further he explained that he couldn’t comply with their orders with excuses such as, “I have a medical condition” and “I’m hyperventilating.” Approximately one hour later, Burk was released.
UPDATE: Agent Burk is now suing the City of Columbus, the Police department, and Officers Fihe and Winchell. His attorney claims that Burk was not a threat to the officers, he did not attempt to flee from the officers, nor did he display any physical aggressiveness toward the officers.
That’s all for now folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms and Active Shooter Response. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Soldier of Fortune, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at [email protected]