This video shows Deputy Tromer and Deputy Haase immediately after they attempted to rescue the occupants of a stolen vehicle that was driven into a pond at the Royal Palm Cemetery on March 31, 2016. Their rescue efforts were suspended due to the unsafe conditions.
This video details Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's response to the media on April 22, 2016, with regards to questions about the deaths of three girls on March 31, 2016, and the COBAN video being re-released on the PCSO Facebook page.
Deputy Terminated For Sustained Charges Of Use Of Excessive Force and Falsifying Police Report Who: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Patrol Operations Bureau Professional Standards Bureau - Administrative Investigation Division Deputy Wayne Wagner Age: 28 Hire Date: 10/20/2014 Termination Effective: November 18, 2016 What: A patrol deputy is terminated for using excessive force during a traffic stop and falsifying a police report. When: The incident occurred during a traffic stop at about 9:40 p.m. on March 25, 2016. The deputy was terminated on November 18, 2016. Where: The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Mobil gas station located at 10021 4th Street North, in St. Petersburg. Why/How: According to the Administrative Investigation Division investigators, Deputy Wayne Wagner conducted a lawful traffic stop on a vehicle at about 9:40 p.m. on March 25, 2016, located at 10021 4th Street North, in St. Petersburg. After arresting the driver of the vehicle for felony Driving on a Suspended License, Wagner directed the female occupant to exit the vehicle. Investigators say that the female occupant exited the vehicle and took her license back from Wagner. When the woman turned to walk away, Wagner pushed the woman into the side of the vehicle and took her to the ground. Wagner arrested the woman for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting an Officer with Violence. Wagner alleged that the woman aggressively approached him, ripped her license from his hand and shoved Wagner in the chest area. Wagner documented these allegations in a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office offense report. Administrative Investigation Division investigators received a complaint following the arrest of the woman and they began their investigation. Through the course of the investigation, investigators obtained dash cam video of the incident and surveillance video from the gas station. The investigation substantiated that Wagner used excessive force to arrest the woman and he falsified a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office offense report to support his allegations. As a result of the administrative investigation, Wagner was terminated effective on Friday November, 18, 2016.
Pinellas County Deputies Investigate A Small Plane Crash Near Clearwater Airpark in Unincorporated Clearwater News release #17-248 Who: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Patrol Operations Bureau Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Clearwater Airpark - 1000 North Hercules Avenue Clearwater Zephyrhills Municipal Airport - 39450 South Avenue, Zephyrhills Marc Allen Benedict (Uninjured Pilot) DOB:03/20/1956 Address:1972 Hastings Drive, Clearwater Gregory Guinee (Uninjured Passenger) DOB: 09/16/1962 Address:1972 Hastings Drive, Clearwater What: Pinellas County Deputies are currently assisting the FAA and NTSB with a plane crash investigation that occurred near the Clearwater Airpark Airport. When: The crash occurred at approximately 10:23 a.m. on November 19, 2017. Where: The plane crash occurred at 1817 North Keene Road, Clearwater. Near the Clearwater Airpark Airport 1000 North Hercules Avenue Clearwater. Why/How: Pinellas County Deputies are currently assisting the FAA and NTSB with a plane crash investigation that occurred at 1817 North Keene Road, Clearwater. Deputies first received reports of the plane crash this morning at approximately 10:23 a.m. Two Deputies were responding to an unrelated call for service, in the vicinity and witnessed the plane crash. According to the Pilot 61-year-old Marc Allen Benedict at approximately 9:00, the single-engine Rockwell International aircraft 112-A piloted by Benedict along with his passenger 55-year-old Gregory Guinee had taken off from Clearwater Airpark located at 1000 North Hercules Avenue Clearwater, flew to the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, 39450 South Avenue, Zephyrhills Florida. Deputies say after refueling the aircraft at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, they attempted to return back to the Clearwater Airpark at approximately 10:00 a.m. The pilot reported to deputies he believed there to be engine trouble while in the air over the area of Sunset Point Road and Belcher Road area in Clearwater. Benedict told investigators he did not believe he could make it back to the Clearwater Airpark and began looking for a safe place to land. Benedict said he saw a deputy near the intersection of Keene Road and Sunset Point Road. Benedict said he then observed what appeared to be an opening and attempted to land the plane on Keene Road. While landing, Benedict reported the pilot side, (left wing) caught a tree causing the plane to spin and crash at 1817 North Keene Road, Clearwater. Investigators say both the pilot Benedict and his passenger Guinee reported no injuries and refused medical treatment. The investigation into the cause of the crash is being conducted by the FAA and NTSB. It has not yet been determined what caused the plane to crash. The investigation continues.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Sgt. Bryan Bingham spoke during a press conference in reference to the St. Pete Beach video. The video shows Sgt. Bingham arresting two subjects who were fighting on the beach and resisted arrest.
Release 16-023 Who: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office -Patrol Operations Bureau Investigative Operations Bureau -Robbery/Homicide Unit Dylan M. Tompkins-Holmes (Injured) DOB: 11/17/1989 Address: 5838 24th Avenue South, Gulfport Deputy Timothy Virden Date of hire: 01/22/07 What: A Pinellas County Deputy has been arrested following an investigation into the December 30, 2015 shooting of a subject during a traffic stop in Madeira Beach. Where: The incident occurred near the intersection of 129th Avenue East and Village Boulevard in Madeira Beach. When: Deputies initiated the traffic stop at about 3:04 a.m. on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. The shooting occurred shortly afterward. Deputy Virden was arrested and charged on the morning of Friday, January 29, 2016. How/Why: Today, during a press conference, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced the arrest of Deputy Timothy Virden on the charge of Attempted Manslaughter. On December 30, 2015 at approximately 3:20 a.m. Deputy Virden shot Dylan Tompkins-Holmes, after arresting him on a misdemeanor charge of obstruction. The arrest occurred as a result of a traffic stop in John’s Pass Village near the intersection of Village Boulevard and 129th Avenue East in Madeira Beach. The Sheriff’s Robbery & Homicide Unit conducted an investigation into the shooting and it was determined that Deputy Virden was not justified in shooting Tompkins-Holmes. Deputy Virden violated state law and committed the crime of Attempted Manslaughter when he shot Dylan. The Sheriff’s Office ‘Use of Deadly Force Review Board’ conducted its own independent review of the shooting and also determined that the shooting was not justified under law or agency policy. The case was subsequently reviewed and investigated by the State Attorney’s Office and presented to a Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge who found probable cause to charge Deputy Virden with one count of Attempted Manslaughter. In this case, Deputy Virden’s version of events that led to him intentionally firing his gun and using deadly force are not supported by the objective facts and his decision to use deadly force is outside the parameters permitted by applicable law and policy. Deputy Virden was arrested and charged on the morning of Friday, January 29, 2016. He has since been released on bond. As a result, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri terminated Deputy Virden’s employment with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. “I have an obligation to our deputies but I have a larger obligation to the citizens we serve, the Office of Sheriff and its integrity, the law enforcement profession as a whole and, of utmost importance, upholding the public’s trust placed in us in performing our duties,” Sheriff Gualtieri said during the press conference.
A video showing PCSO Sergeant Bryan Bingham responding to a brawl that broke out on St. Pete Beach Sunday, March 8, 2015, has gone viral. Fox & Friends invited Sgt. Bingham to discuss the video Monday, March 16th.
Deputy Terminated For Sustained Charges Of Inappropriate Conduct While On and Off Duty News release #17-225 Who: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Professional Standards Bureau - Administrative Investigation Division Patrol Operations Bureau Deputy Brian C. Britt Age: 45 Date of Hire: 08/07/2000 Termination Date: 10/16/2017 What: A patrol deputy is terminated for sustained inappropriate conduct while on and off duty. When: The incident occurred between December 31, 2016, and January 10, 2017. The deputy was terminated on October 16, 2017. Where: The incident occurred at various locations in Pinellas County and Pasco County. Why/How: A patrol deputy is terminated for sustained inappropriate conduct while on and off duty. According to Administrative Investigation Division investigators, on December 31, 2016, Deputy Brian Britt responded to a dispatched call to a private residence in the City of Oldsmar in an attempt to locate a wanted 18-year-old female for the charge of domestic battery. Upon Deputy Britt's arrival to the residence, he located the female whom was reported to have only been wearing a towel. Deputy Britt followed the female into the home and allowed her to retrieve her identification and get dressed in the bathroom. While in the bathroom there was a second female "naked" in the shower. The 18-year-old female was taken into custody. While at a separate location and waiting for the arrival of the jail transport van. Deputy Britt was reported to have removed the 18-year-old female's handcuffs and had an inappropriate flirtatious conversation. Deputy Britt was reported to have inquired about visiting the two females at a local adult nightclub where she worked. Deputy Britt continued to have inappropriate contact with the 18-year-old female including using his department-issued phone to send flirtatious text messages and set up a later visit with the two females at his private residence. Deputy Britt offered money as an incentive for the visit. While at the home, investigators say Britt's 11-year-old daughter was reported to be at home sleeping in the other room. As a result of the administrative investigation, Deputy Britt was terminated effective October 16, 2017. On, October 16, 2017, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference at the Sheriff's Administration Building announcing Britt termination. Video of the press conference can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/E2lMLNiyAuA
17-174 ***Updated*** Three Teen Boys Are Dead After Crashing Stolen Vehicle In Palm Harbor; Sheriff Gualtieri Says Auto Thefts By Youth Continue to Be An Epidemic Affecting The Entire County Auto Theft - Deaths ***Update*** Both Deyon Kaigler and Kamal Campbell charged with one count of grand theft auto and one count resisting arrest without violence. The Investigation is continuing. End of Update August 6, 2017 ***Original news release below*** Who: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Operations Bureau -MAIT Team -Flight Unit -K9 Unit Support Services Bureau -Forensics Unit Keontae Brown (Deceased – Ford Explorer) DOB: 12/06/2000 (16 years old) Jimmie Goshey (Deceased – Ford Explorer) DOB: 11/19/2002 (14 years old) Dejarae Thomas (Deceased – Ford Explorer) DOB: 10/18/2000 (16 years old) Keondrae Brown (Injured – Ford Explorer) DOB: 04/14/2003 (14 years old) Kamal Campbell (In Custody – Chrysler Sebring) DOB: 10/01/1998 (18 years old) Deyon Kaigler (In Custody – Chrysler Sebring) DOB: 02/02/2001 (16 years old) Ricky Melendez (Victim minor injuries) DOB: 07/22/1988 Vehicle: 1999 Toyota Camry What: Three Teen Boys Are Dead After Crashing Stolen Vehicle In Palm Harbor; Sheriff Gualtieri Says Auto Thefts By Youth Continue to Be An Epidemic Affecting The Entire County. All the teens have an extensive criminal history. When: The crash occurred on Sunday, August 6, 2017, at approximately 4:30 am. Where: The crash occurred at the intersection of US Highway 19 North and Tampa Road. Why/How: During a news conference held on the morning of Sunday, August 6, 2017, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri laid out the timeline of events that led up to the crash as follows: On August 3, 2017, two vehicles were stolen, including a 2015 black Ford Explorer and a 2008 Chrysler Sebring, from a car lot in Clearwater. Early this morning at approximately 1:00 AM, deputies spotted the stolen Ford Explorer at 580 and Belcher Road. Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop and the Ford Explorer fled. Deputies confirmed that the Ford Explorer was a stolen vehicle and that the vehicle was on a “hot list” bulletin. Deputies did not pursue the vehicle and lost sight as it fled. At approximately 4:00 AM deputies once again spotted the Ford Explorer and a blue 2008 Chrysler Sebring at East Lake Road north of Tampa Road. The two stolen vehicles were running in tandem. The two vehicles sped away from deputies and entered the East Lake Woodlands residential area. Deputies locked down a perimeter and sought the assistance of the flight unit, but were initially unable to locate the vehicles. A deputy traveling westbound on Tampa Road located both vehicles traveling west. The vehicles were again engaged in tandem in a game of “cat and mouse” while accelerating and decelerating. As a deputy attempted a traffic stop on the Ford Explorer on Tampa Road and Lake St. George, the Ford Explorer sped away at excessive speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. The deputy made a U-turn as he noticed the Sebring had decelerated behind him. The deputy was traveling eastbound on Tampa Road in the opposite direction of the Ford Explorer when the crash occurred. The Ford Explorer was reported to have struck a motorist, 29-year-old Ricky Melendez, who was traveling northbound on US Highway 19 at the intersection of Tampa Road. The Ford Explorer went airborne and struck multiple parked vehicles in a car lot on the northwest corner of the intersection and continued to roll, flip and strike numerous fixed objects while still moving westbound on Tampa Road before coming to rest. The four teenagers in the Ford Explorer where Keontae Brown, Jimmie Goshey, Dejarae Thomas and Keondrae Brown. Keondrae Brown was taken to All Children's Hospital and the other three teenagers are deceased as a result of the crash. The Sebring continued south on US Highway 19. Deputies discovered the abandoned Sebring near Prince Philip Street just west of Keene Road, south of Sunset Point Road. A short time later the two occupants, 16-year-old Deyon Kaigler and 18-year-old Kamal Campbell, who had fled on foot were taken into custody with the assistance of the K-9 Unit. During the press conference Sheriff, Gualtieri reiterated how this auto theft epidemic is a deadly game and needs to stop. The teenagers involved in this incident are prolific offenders and were already being monitored by the HOME Unit (Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement). The investigation continues and updates will be provided via media alert.
16-081 Three Teen Girls Are Dead After Crashing Vehicle They Stole Into Pond At The Royal Palm Cemetery In St. Petersburg; Sheriff Gualtieri Says Auto Thefts By Youth In South St. Pete Has Become An Epidemic Affecting The Entire County Who: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Operations Bureau -MAIT Team -Flight Unit -Dive Team Support Services Bureau -Forensics Unit Dominique M. Battle (Deceased) DOB: 8/23/1999 (16 years old) Address: 943 23rd Avenue South, St. Petersburg Criminal History: *** Active Warrant for Violation of Probation- Burglary 10/30/14- Burglary to a Dwelling 11/10/14 Burglary to a Dwelling , Resist Officer without Violence, Trespassing 1/16/15- Vehicle Theft, Resist Officer without Violence 3/16/15- Vehicle Theft 7/9/15- Burglary to a Dwelling, Provide False Name to Law Enforcement 7/25/15- Violation of Probation 11/22/15- Vehicle Theft, Resist Officer without Violence 12/15/15- Possession of Marijuana, Burglary to a Dwelling 1/8/16- Vehicle Theft Ashaunti N. Butler (Deceased) DOB: 4/18/2000 (15 years old) Address: 2311 ½ 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg Criminal History: ***Active Warrant for Failure to Appear- Resisting Officer without Violence and 2 counts of Petit Theft ***Active Pick-up Order- Runaway 5/5/15 Resist Officer without Violence, Retail Theft 11/21/15- Vehicle Theft 12/9/15- Burglary to a Dwelling, Burglary to a Conveyance 1/18/16- Vehicle Theft, Possession of Marijuana, Burglary, Petit Theft 3/29/16- Violation of Probation- Trespassing Laniya D. Miller (Deceased) DOB: 4/21/2000 (15 years old) Address: 2847 6th Street South, St. Petersburg Criminal History: 3/16/15- Vehicle Theft Damien L. Marriott (Vehicle Owner-Victim of Auto Theft) DOB: 04/01/1980 Address: 214 37th Avenue, St. Petersburg Vehicle: 1990 Honda Accord What: Three teen girls, two of them 15, the other 16-year-of age- are dead after they crashed, a vehicle they stole, - into a pond at the Royal Palm Cemetery in St. Petersburg. The girls all had criminal records to include seven grand theft auto charges against them in just the last year. When: The crash into the pond occurred overnight on March 31, 2016. Where: The crash occurred at the pond on the property of the Royal Palm Cemetery located at 2600 Gandy Boulevard. Why/How: During a news conference held on the afternoon of March 31, 2016, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri laid out the timeline of events that led up to the crash as follows: A deputy spotted the vehicle driving eastbound on Sunset Point Road near US 19. The vehicle did not have its headlights on. The deputy activated emergency equipment, and then deactivated as the incident did not meet the criteria for a pursuit. The suspect vehicle continued and was seen going through a stoplight. Another deputy then saw the vehicle in the area of US 19 and Ulmerton Road. The deputy confirmed the vehicle had been stolen out of St. Petersburg. The deputy monitored the vehicle from a distance. The deputy was in an unmarked car. The vehicle continued until it reached Gandy Boulevard and Frontage Road and entered the cemetery. The vehicle then drove towards the back of the cemetery and into the pond. The conditions were dark and it is possible the driver thought she could exit onto the highway. The Sheriff’s Dive Team was called. The team pulled the vehicle from the water. The bodies of three teenage girls were found inside. The girls were subsequently identified as 16-year-old Dominique Battle, 15-year-old Ashaunti N. Butler, and 15-year-old Laniya D. Miller. Investigators say it was not clear who was driving the vehicle as the girls appeared to have been tossed around in the vehicle following the crash Through the investigation deputies learned that the girls had stolen the vehicle, after they were given a ride by the vehicle owner, identified as 35-year-old Damian Marriott . Investigators say Marriott was going to take them to Child’s Park. Deputies say, however, that Marriott first stopped at the WalMart store located in south St Petersburg -to buy a TV. He left the girls in the car with the vehicle running, and when he returned the girls had taken the car. After providing the timeline, Sheriff Gualtieri described the current state of affairs as it relates to auto thefts. The Sheriff described the number of occurrences of auto thefts by youth from the area of South St. Petersburg – as an epidemic. The Sheriff said law enforcement would continue to do its part to suppress this type of criminal activity, to include the work of the Auto Theft Task Force, but stated other ways to combat the problem must be found. “Solutions need to come deep from within the community. Kids need to know there are consequences. This is a systematic and complex problem,” said the Sheriff. “Three dead teenagers is not acceptable,” he added. The investigation continues.