Crime

Cop at Johnson County bar flashed badge, threatened to use gun while pursuing woman

A Kansas City, Kansas, police officer flashed his badge and threatened to use his gun when he was being kicked out of a bar last year, according to a state agency charged with licensing law enforcement officers.

Robert Ward, 41, pleaded guilty in July in Johnson County District Court to three counts of assault and one count of possessing a firearm while under the influence.

He was accused of threatening a bartender while trying to pursue a woman during an argument.

He was sentenced to a year of probation.

Ward left the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department in July. His certification to work as an officer in Kansas was formally revoked on Saturday.

Ward’s penalties stemmed from an incident at a Johnson County bar in August 2018, according to documents prepared by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training.

During an argument with a woman, Ward allegedly threw his beer at a pillar. Bar staff asked him to leave.

The woman, who said she feared for her safety, took shelter in the bar’s server area.

When the bartender allowed the woman to move into the server area, the documents say, Ward tried to push past him, flashing his police badge.

The officer “made comments indicating he could do what he wanted as a cop and would use his gun.”

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Former Kansas City, Kansas police officer Robert Ward was convicted in July of three counts of assault and one count of possession of a firearm while under the influence. Johnson County Sheriff's Office

Ward was charged in January with criminal threat, possession of a firearm while under the influence, disorderly conduct and three counts of assault.

The criminal threat and disorderly conduct charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to court records.

Ward remained employed at the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department until July 8, six days after he pleaded guilty, according to the CPOST documents.

It is unknown whether he was fired or left the department voluntarily.

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department did not respond to The Star’s request for comment Tuesday.

Ward is the second Kansas City, Kansas, officer to lose his certification this year.

Steven Rios lost his certification in August after he was accused of sexually assaulting a cadet and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.

He retired from the department before losing his license.

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.
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