The Tulsa World reported Saturday that the fan involved in a confrontation with Tony Stewart at the Chili Bowl Nationals is a member of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
The newspaper identified the spectator as Cpl. Kyle Hess, who was off duty during the incident.
Deputy Justin Green told the Tulsa World that the Sheriff’s Office is investigating Hess’ conduct to determine if he acted inappropriately. A Sheriff’s spokesperson said the investigation is not expected to be completed until this coming week.
“We’re all held to a higher standard, even off duty,” Green said told the newspaper.
Witnesses on Twitter stated that Stewart was confronting a fan who heckled him.
In one video, Hess appears to tell Stewart “I don’t like you” after Stewart walked up to him in the stands. They grabbed each other’s hands and Stewart slipped as fans chanted “Tony.” Stewart and the fan argued briefly before the fan pushed Stewart back and fell backward. Stewart then leaned in to continue the discussion.
“We had a race fan that probably had too much beer from my observations after speaking with him,” Dennis Larson, Tulsa Deputy Police Chief and Expo Square Liaison officer, told the Tulsa World. “He kept taunting Tony Stewart as Tony would pass by. Tony came up to the stands and decided to have a discussion with him on why he did not like him