Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After arrest, Lake County man sues Pasco sheriff

NEW PORT RICHEY — A Lake County man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, saying he was arrested on driving under the influence charges for no reason.

The complaint filed Tuesday in federal court alleges that Cornelius Caldwell was driving through Dade City at 6:04 a.m. on April 7, 2013, and "exhibited no manifestations of alcohol or drug impairment" when he was pulled over by Deputy Gene Smith.

During the exchange with the deputy, Caldwell had no "physiological signs of impairment," the complaint states.

The complaint, filed by Orlando lawyer Jacob Stuart, says Caldwell passed all the deputy's field-sobriety tests and complied with Breathalyzer tests, which showed he had a 0.00 blood-alcohol level. Still, he was jailed, where he suffered, among other things, "physical inconvenience," "embarrassment" and "injury to his feelings."

For this, Caldwell is seeking $75,000 in damages.

Smith's report from Caldwell's arrest offers a different story.

Caldwell was pulled over for going 65 mph in a 55 mph zone, according to the report. His tag light also was out.

Caldwell said he was coming back from a friend's house where he'd had "a few drinks." He "performed poorly" on field sobriety tests, the report states, and showed "numerous signs of impairment," Smith wrote, including dilated pupils that did not react to light.

Initially, Caldwell refused a breath test, but after being read an implied consent warning, he relented. He was detained. Then, when he took the breath test at the Land O'Lakes jail, he did indeed have a 0.00 blood-alcohol level.

The deputy asked him to take a urine test, and Caldwell again consented. The deputy caught him trying to fill the sample cup with toilet water.

Caldwell gave a valid sample on his second try. The results of the test are not listed in the report.

The deputy wrote Caldwell a warning for speeding and the busted tag light and turned him over to booking staff. He was released at 2:26 p.m. on his own recognizance.

Court records show that Caldwell was charged with DUI and had several pretrial hearings last year, but nothing has happened in the case since.

A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

After arrest, Lake County man sues Pasco sheriff 09/03/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  2. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change

    National

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  3. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  5. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]