Ex-LSP officer jailed in store disturbance

A former State Police lieutenant was arrested Sunday night and charged with creating a disturbance at Academy Sports in Baton Rouge after store employees declined to sell him a firearm, police reported.

Stephen P. Baum, 59, 13937 Tiger Bend Avenue, Baton Rouge, was booked on counts of disturbing the peace, resisting an officer and public intimidation, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Prison records.

The run-in happened shortly before 8 p.m. as Baum was attempting to buy a firearm from the gun counter, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The former lawman “began swearing to parties involved” and “became verbally aggressive” when personnel refused him the sale, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says Baum threatened to “sue everyone for refusal of purchase.”

A store manager on Monday declined to say why the sale was denied and said she could not comment on the incident.

A police officer working an extra duty detail at the store responded to the disturbance, the affidavit says.

Cpl. Tommy Stubbs, a Baton Rouge police spokesman, said the officer tried to calm Baum after he became “loud and obnoxious.”

Baum refused, the affidavit says, and began swearing at the officer “stating he would go see Chief (Dewayne) White, that he used to work with him at the State Police and the Civil Service board would not help the (officer) on this one, implying he would influence employment or duties of employment.”

White served for more than two decades in the State Police before becoming police chief.

Baum “aggressively stepped” toward the officer and said he “would not comply or do anything, he knew the law and again began swearing,” the affidavit says. The officer told Baum he was under arrest and tried to handcuff him, the affidavit says, but Baum allegedly refused with “verbal as well as physical noncompliance.”

The disturbance continued when the officer asked Baum to comply and he “again jerked away,” the affidavit says, refusing all verbal requests to place his hands behind his back.

Baum was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison about 2:10 a.m. and was still being held in lieu of $3,500 bond late Monday afternoon, prison officials said.

Baum retired from the State Police in 2008 after 25 years of service, said Capt. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman.

Baum worked out of Troop A, which is based in Baton Rouge, Cain said.