When people think of rent-a-cops, what generally come to mind are images of bumbling, donut-besotted goons in police costume, harassing teenage mall rats. But in the case of Omega Security, a private security company on Dickerson Pike, a much more sinister picture emerges.
Shooting an unarmed suspect, statutory rape and facilitating prostitution are just some of the less savory aspects of Omega Security’s recent past, according to police affidavits, former clients and court records.
Last November, police say, 41-year-old Omega Security owner Jason Tucker engaged in consensual oral sex with a 16-year-old girl on a couch in his office. When the police came looking for him four days after the incident, Tucker admitted having oral sex with the minor but noted that he was too discriminating to go all the way.
“He was about to have consensual penile/vaginal sex with the victim, but said she DID NOT smell very clean, so he decided not to have penile/vaginal sex with her,” according to police records.
Tucker won’t comment on the charge, except to say that someone is out to defame him and that it is a “…ridiculous situation. Everybody gets into these situations. Police officers get into these situations quite often.”
He’s being charged with aggravated statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to the district attorney’s office, the case is on its way to the grand jury.
Incidents like this are part of a disturbing pattern in the recent history of Omega Security.
In June 2005, Tucker shot an unarmed man while patrolling the Quality Inn on Murfreesboro Road. He was charged with aggravated assault, and although a jury later acquitted him, his target received more than $25,000 from Tucker’s insurance company in a civil court settlement. In November of that same year, an Omega employee maced a couple and their pets in an effort to evict them from a motel the company had been contracted to guard. Since that time, Omega employees have been arrested for crimes ranging from theft, forgery and criminal trespassing to domestic assault. One former employee even wrestled a purse from his own mother to steal $14 and a debit card.
Though none of the above-mentioned Omega alumni are Metro cops, Omega, like most private security firms, does hire off-duty and retired police officers. Tucker would not share their names with the Scene, and Metro officials say they are unable to determine what officers work for specific security companies. A list of Omega employees that surfaced during Tucker’s civil action lists no police officers but reads like a laundry list of petty and not-so-petty lawbreakers.
Of the 17 security agents listed in court documents as having worked for Omega at the time of the shooting, at least five have been arrested in Nashville. The worst of these is Roger McClellan. In May 2005, McClellan was busted for unlicensed use of paraphernalia. At the time, he was still working for Omega. Six months later, he was arrested on the same charge, though it is unclear whether he was then working for the security company. Between that time and now, he’s been charged with 10 more crimes—most against his parents—ranging from robbery to assault.
Decarlos Antrez Woods is another Omega star. Between 2006 and 2008, he’s been charged with nine criminal offenses. On Dec. 27 of last year, he was charged with forgery after he passed a $500 traveler’s check that police say “was not issued to him.”
In January 2006, he was caught on videotape “embezzling funds from the store cash register” at the Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, where he then worked. He stole more than $1,000 before being arrested and confessing.
Jason Tucker says that these men were no longer working at Omega when they committed these crimes and that he employs only security officers with state licenses who have been screened by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
“I mainly use good security officers,” he says. “The guys that I’ve got, I stand behind every one of them that I’ve ever had work for me, even [Woods and McClellan]. They always were great officers.”
Some of Tucker’s former clients disagree.
In 2005, motels such as Hallmark, Regency and Liberty Inn had become satellite offices for the prostitutes who worked nearby Dickerson Pike. The motels are on a gritty strip just off the I-24 Trinity Lane exit in North Nashville. In 2005, the area “was not a nice place,” says one motel proprietor. So a group of motel owners decided to hire Omega to keep an eye on their properties. According to some of them, the deal was that Omega would provide a car and a guard to make overnight rounds and check in with the owners periodically. But, says one motel owner, “they wouldn’t make their rounds.” He claims that the Omega officers were “promoting the prostitution” by giving the hookers rides and looking the other way when johns brought them into rooms.
In at least one case, though, an Omega officer was somewhat overzealous in the execution of his appointed rounds. According to a police affidavit, a motel owner at 1400 Brick Church Pike asked employee Marcelle Perrin to help him evict a couple and their pets from a room they were renting on a weekly basis.
Perrin responded by climbing through the room’s window and “spraying the victims and their pets with pepper spray” before letting the owner in “via the door,” according to the affidavit. Perrin was charged with aggravated burglary, though the charges were dismissed.
Shortly thereafter, the owners terminated the arrangement with Omega. It had lasted only a few months.
Tucker says that busting prostitutes, whose offenses are misdemeanors, is not in his job description. “That’s the Metropolitan Police Department’s job,” Tucker says. “We don’t arrest anyone for prostitution…. The only thing that we do is we watch the trafficking of people going into or out of the property that don’t belong there. If we witness a felony, than we make an arrest.”
Tucker says that his company has gotten out of the motel protection business altogether. Part of what led to that decision was the Thomas Schmitz shooting.
In June 2005, the Schmitz family—Thomas, Jenine and their two children—were in a bad spot. Thomas, a carpenter, was out of work, and hard times found them living at the Quality Inn on Murfreesboro Road.
Quality Inn hired Omega, and Jason Tucker personally made the rounds.
Late one night around Thanksgiving, Jenine Schmitz says that Tucker’s scrutiny turned her way. It was 1 a.m. and Schmitz was out walking her dog “in my PJs,” she says.
She says that she encountered Tucker, who insisted on frisking her for drugs. “He felt up under my shirt,” she says. “I said, ‘I ain’t got a bra on!’ He says, ‘Well people tape stuff under their boobs.’ ”
As she tells the story on the back porch of the Nashboro Village condo that she and her family now share, Schmitz grabs her left breast showing how the security guard groped her. Her husband looks on, shaking his head in disgust. “Pervert,” he spits.
Jenine Schmitz claims that she immediately told her husband but never filed a police report because she was embarrassed.
The following summer, Jenine and Thomas were having an argument, and it was not their first. “We’ve been together 19 years, so c’mon,” Schmitz says, explaining the discord. “I don’t beat my wife.”
In fact, Jenine did file domestic assault charges against her husband in June 2006, claiming in an affidavit that Thomas “hit her in the mouth with his fist and busted her lip.”
On the night of June 28, 2005, however, the argument was strictly verbal, the couple say. By the time Tucker showed up, they say the fight was over. Thomas Schmitz claims that he was polite at first and that there was no trouble until he asked the officer his name. “He said ‘Tucker,’ ” Schmitz recalls, “and I just snapped,” realizing that it was same officer who had allegedly groped his wife.
“I started calling him a fat, perverted, piece-of-shit bastard…. Hey, I’m sorry but there’s no statute of limitations when somebody touches my family, my wife.”
Schmitz was visibly unarmed, wearing only shorts, sandals and a tank top. “Where would I conceal a weapon?” he asks.
When Schmitz started yelling, Tucker called the real cops and commanded Schmitz to stop in his tracks. Schmitz didn’t, and Tucker drew his .40-caliber pistol. Schmitz says that he was walking sideways about 10 to 15 feet away from Tucker, headed toward his wife. He didn’t get far. Tucker again told him to stop and when Schmitz didn’t, Tucker shot him in the left leg.
Tucker was charged with aggravated assault, and the couple sued him in civil court for damages.
At Tucker’s criminal trial, the judge threw out Jenine Schmitz’s story of Tucker’s groping because she didn’t file a police report at the time, and the jury sided with the security guard, finding him not guilty.
The civil proceeding was settled on March 7 of this year, and the Schmitzes say they received more than $25,000 from Tucker’s insurance company.
For his part, Tucker says that he regrets the shooting but that it was justified. “If I had pulled away from the incident at that time [and] the gentleman would have killed the lady, we would’ve had that to deal with.”For now, though, what Tucker has to deal with are the latest criminal charges against him—statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If convicted, his state-issued security license could be in jeopardy.
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