FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — After an incident between former Fresno city councilmember Oliver Baines former Fresno police officer Raymond Eddy Wednesday evening, Baines is speaking out and sharing his side of the story.
Both men having served as Fresno police officers Baines says he and Raymond Eddy’s relationship goes back longer than 20 years. Eddy served as Baines’ chief of staff for a portion of his term on the Fresno city council.
“He’s someone I would consider one of my best friends,” Baines says.
Baines says he went to Eddy’s home to check on him after Eddy sent unusual text messages to the former city councilmember and his friends Wednesday night. Messages that Baines says was a signifier of a mental health crisis.
“I’m like ‘Hey man is everything okay? What’s going on?’,” Baines describes. “And immediately he grabs me, puts the gun up underneath my neck.”
Baines says he remained calm trying to reason with Eddy, but wasn’t able to get through to him. Baines says Eddy then hit him with the barrel of the gun in the face multiple times.
The former city councilmember would like the public to know that he feels his friend is not well, and that there was no prior dispute between the two before this incident. Baines says Eddy has had a difficult year being unemployed and going through a divorce.
“The idea that it was anything more than me checking on my friend whom I was deeply worried about is just preposterous,” Baines said.
On Thursday the Fresno Police Department gave a different account.
“Apparently their disturbance was over a failed business venture,” said Lieutenant Rob Beckwith.
On Friday night, Beckwith says after double-checking with detectives who were on scene, Baines indicated that Eddy was in distress. That information was not made public at first.
Baines says that he and Eddy have a business venture together constructing a manufacturing facility in Florida, but that had nothing to do with this incident.
“I was very candid with the officers and detectives that night to tell them that I think he’s had some kind of psychotic break.”