‘Gun grab’ incident dogs gubernatorial candidate Tenorio
No word on status of investigation or potential charges from Guam AGO
Despite legislative prodding, the Guam Attorney General’s office has declined to offer an update on its investigation into what’s become known as the ‘gun grabbing’ incident involving Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio.
That incident occurred at the Tumon Bay block party in early July, when Tenorio, a former police officer, believed a working officer on the scene did not have his loaded pistol properly secured. Tenorio yanked the pistol from its holster. Tenorio, who told the media he had a few beers before the incident, said his intent was to educate the officer.
Critics have maintained that any civilian pulling such a maneuver would have been arrested on the spot.
The case was forwarded to the AG's office from the Guam Police Department to avoid any appearance of conflict. The Attorney General’s office has offered one brief update, but been silent since.
Tenorio faces no opposition in the August 25th primary election but a radio interview at last weekend’s candidate forum at the Micronesian Mall, he told interviewer Ray Gibson the incident educated him.
Tenorio running mate Tony Ada, Tenorio, Ray Gibson
[Ray Gibson] “I think it is to the detriment of your campaign that the Attorney General’s office has been silent. There’s this cloud that we’ve all got to punch through. How do you feel? [Tenorio] I think I’ve said what I need to say on this. I apologize for this. I think I did it for the right reasons, perhaps the wrong way. Everything has always been about public safety, to make sure the officer’s lives and other people’s lives… are not in jeopardy because of a firearm… In the future I’ll say, ‘that looks kinda unsafe and is that firearm secured?”
At a Monday forum for Attorney General candidates hosted by the Guam Bar Association, Tenorio didn’t get much sympathy from candidate G.W. Frank Gumataotao.
“Grab a gun, go to jail. And I mean it. This is not a game. We’re talking about felonies here. People can be hurt. Three times he grabbed that gun. Three times he waved it around. Three times the officer chased him down to get that gun. That gun was loaded. You know, Ray was on television talking about it. He gave the information to the reporter. He admitted it. Now, I love Ray. I know him personally. I was very close to his mother. Just saw him Saturday. And it would really pain me to have to prosecute him for this. That’s why I would hope the current AG does the job (crowd laughter). But if not, I will do my job and that is to put him in the system if the grand jury comes back with a true bill. We’ll charge him out.”
Candidate Leevin Taitano Camacho leaned toward protecting fair trial rights.
“I know that people want to know what the status is and the Attorney General can make those kind of remarks…I think (Barrett-Anderson) should give an update on the status of the investigation, but I also understand that it’s under investigation and that’s a perfectly ethical and responsible answer to give.”
Sensitive to charges that high profile persons as Tenorio in the community receive different handling from authorities, Douglas Moylan said that during his tenure as attorney general, he got involved in such cases personally and took responsibility.