Center Police investigating deputies' fight

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - A detective with the Center Police Department says the agency is investigating criminal activity in a Thursday fight between two sheriff's deputies.

Det. Joey Haley said their department is investigating allegations that Deputy Desmond McDaniel and another deputy, Curtis Archie, attacked Deputy Kevin Gratehouse and that Gratehouse never threw a punch.

Sheriff Newton Johnson said in a Thursday interview that McDaniel and Gratehouse were fired immediately following the fight.

Haley said the initial investigation indicates McDaniel had a verbal argument with Gratehouse, then McDaniel threw a punch and Archie pepper-sprayed Gratehouse. The initial indication indicated Gratehouse did not throw a punch.

Gratehouse said in a telephone interview Friday that the fight began over a fingerprinting kit. McDaniel had called him, Gratehouse said, and asked to borrow the kit, which Gratehouse had bought. Gratehouse told him no. When Gratehouse arrived at the station Thursday, McDaniel and Archie confronted him and the altercation began, Gratehouse said.

"I really can't give my side until I speak to my attorney," McDaniel, who said he has yet to hire an attorney, said.

Police Chief Jim Albers issued a press release Saturday denying Haley commented on the initial investigation to KTRE, calling the report "erroneous." However, KTRE stands by the story, including the comments on the initial investigation.

Albers also clarified in the press release that the investigation was into individuals involved in the fight and not into the sheriff's department as a whole. Albers stated Sheriff Newton Johnson and his employees have been "completely cooperative" in the investigation.

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