No excessive force was used, but the probe found one deputy violated the office's code of conduct.
By DUANE BOURNE
Published May 3, 2003
BROOKSVILLE - Two sheriff's deputies were cleared of wrongdoing in two separate complaints of excessive use of force, according to an internal affairs report released Friday.
Lt. Joseph Paez, a Hernando sheriff's spokesman, said that the allegations levied against Detective Shawn Terry and Deputy William Power were unfounded. Though he said that the internal investigation proved that Power violated the office's code of conduct when he berated Kelly Lowe with expletives as he tried to arrest her on a charge of possessing stolen property Jan. 31, 2002.
Terry, 26, received a written reprimand and was ordered to take "Verbal Judo," a course that enhances law enforcement professionalism while decreasing stress and citizen complaints.
According to the report, Terry was justified when he dragged Lowe 30 feet from the living room of the home on Charmwood Avenue in Spring Hill to the front lawn. Authorities said Terry's portable radio malfunctioned inside the home, and he needed to call backup from his squad car.
"It appears that Detective Terry used only the force considered necessary under the circumstances to effect the arrest of Ms. Lowe," the report stated.
In another investigation Power, 24, was cleared of any wrongdoing after he pulled over a motorized scooter, driven by a 17-year-old boy on March 1. The Times is withholding the teen's name because of his age.
Paez said Power, 24, who is well-liked in the Hill 'n Dale community, pulled the teen over and was going to arrest him on a charge of driving with a suspended license.
The teen contends that Power struck him in the ribs with his fist when he forced him to the ground.
The complaint alleges that not only did Power use his flashlight to place the teen in his car after the boy tried to run away from him, but targeted three men in the neighborhood because they were black.
Two weeks later, the teen's mother filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office, claiming that Power had been "harassing my three sons in less than 24 hours," according to her complaint.
An investigation found that the woman's sons were issued three traffic citations, but there was no evidence to prove that the deputy's actions were racially motivated, the report stated.
- Duane Bourne covers law enforcement and emergency services in Hernando County and can be reached at 754-6114. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org