Prison guard convicted of felony in SLO County

August 11, 2015

prison barsA Central Valley prison guard has been convicted of a felony for pointing a loaded gun at a vehicle during a 2014 road rage incident near Paso Robles. [Tribune]

Anthony James Behrens, 53, is a sergeant at Kern Valley State Prison. On Friday, a jury convicted him of brandishing a weapon at a person in a motor vehicle, a felony, as well as unlawful laser activity, a misdemanor.

The incident occurred on July 27, 2014 on Highway 46 east of Paso Robles. Shortly after, Behrens told California Highway Patrol officers that he aimed the gun at the other vehicle and activated the laser because he was afraid about the safety of his family.

On Friday, a jury deliberated for a little more than an hour before convicting Behrens.

Court documents state, during the incident, Behrens was back-seat passenger in a Toyota Prius being driven by his 20-year-old daughter. Behrens’s wife and niece were also in the vehicle.

The Prius was traveling in the middle lane of a three-lane section of Highway 46 when a Ford Expedition passed on the left and merged in front. The Prius then passed the Expedition on the right and pulled in front of the Expedition before the lanes converged into one.

With the Expedition tailgating, the Prius sped up and slowed down several times. Behrens’s wife took photos of the Expedition, and the wife of the Expedition driver took photos of the Prius.

At some point, Behrens pointed the laser of a loaded .40-caliber Springfield handgun at the Expedition. Occupants of the Expedition called the police.

When the CHP officers stopped the Prius, they found a duffel bag with “Behrens” and a Department of Corrections badge pin on it. A loaded gun registered to Behrens was inside the bag.

The gun contained eight rounds, and it had a red laser scope.

A court motion stated Behrens once saved a bleeding inmate’s life. Behrens is a former prison nurse.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 2.


Pretty ridiculous how they filed a motion about how he saved a bleeding inmate while a prison nurse. So he once did his job, and thinks that should give him a pass?


Sounds like a real bully. Lock em up.


That’s a great question, these glorified baby sitters (prison guards) think that a badge and a state issued ID card gives them some power…..NOT…..

I love it when I stop a correctional officer for speeding and the first thing he does is flash his badge…I just get a little heavy handed on the ticket..

miles archer

Glorified baby sitters? That’s funny coming from a glorified radar operator.

And your suggestion that you get “a little heavy handed” on the ticket just because a c.o flashed a badge is just disrespectful, to our prison guards, and to the other CHPs out there who DON’T use their position to make their own personal statements.

As to the guard, he’s one bad apple who will regret that moment for the rest of his life.


Phuck da police!!


A warning to all Prius drivers. Please get out of the fast lane while driving 45 mph.


It would be interesting to know if Behrens has a CA concealed firearms carry permit? Either way his behavior is completely unacceptable and very dangerous.


Hand some people a gun and a badge and their brains go into neutral. They turn into total idiots. I hope they take away all of his guns. With a felony conviction, he should never be allowed to have a weapon. Unlike most people, he will get an early stress disability retirement that we will pay for the next 20-25 years.

This type of hostile aggressive driving is common these days. So many people seem like they never grow up.


Sorry S_J,

It doesn’t work that way. He [and his family] lose everything. All because of his and their absolutely stupid lapse in judgement.


You are correct. With a felony conviction the State can take away his pension. It’s not automatic and the chances are his plea was given in exchange for no loss of pension.

Ted Slanders

Four individuals in a Prius? Who would’t have drawn their handgun in this situation?!

fishing village

WHAT could they all of been thinking? These were adults and it sounds like there was plenty of blame to go around. Why was the guard caring a gun? You just never know who is in the car next to you, I never get involved with other drivers. Ignore stupidity!


As a CO, you can carry. What he did with that right to carry was absolutely assinine. He “should” have known better. He’s thrown his whole career away. And that of his ability to take care of his family.

All of them lose.

Jorge Estrada

Bad idea/prank, maybe Behrens will get lucky and be able to return to nursing?


Never pull your weapon unless your life is in danger. And working for the dept. of corrections makes you a baby sitter with a badge, not Dirty Harry.