“The investigation into that incident has been concluded and handled according to policy,” Dep. Justin Green, public information officer for the Tulsa County’s Sheriff’s Office, emailed NBC Sports. “There are no results that I can release at this time.”
Stewart walked into the stands Jan. 15 to confront Hess, who had been heckling Stewart, according to witnesses. In one video, Hess appears to tell Stewart “I don’t like you” after Stewart walked up to him. They grabbed each others hands. As a security officer attempted to separate them, Hess appeared to push Stewart and fell down in the process.
Stewart was at the event to help prepare the indoor dirt track. A security officer told the Tulsa World that Hess “probably had too much beer from my observation after speaking with him. Hess was escorted from the event.
The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Jan. 22: “The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office takes seriously the conduct of its employees, whether on duty or off duty. While we respect our employees’ rights to free speech, we also expect all of our employees to follow the TSCO’s Code of Ethics, which each pledges to uphold as part of their employment and to set an example at all times.”
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