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Ex-Brooksville officer arrested again, charged with violating injunction

BROOKSVILLE — Fired Brooksville police Officer Bryan Drinkard has been arrested again by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, charged with violating a dating violence injunction.

Drinkard, who remained in custody Wednesday after his arrest Tuesday night, had been arrested earlier this month on counts of burglary, grand theft and stalking. The charges stemmed from allegations made by his former girlfriend and co-worker, Tiffany Still.

Then, on Saturday, authorities say, a woman who had the injunction against Drinkard received a letter from him in the mail. It was written on her personal stationery and included the words "I love you, (her name)." Though the letter was not signed, investigators say the woman recognized Drinkard's handwriting and reported it.

The woman is not named in the report, but authorities have previously stated that Still had an injunction against Drinkard.

Drinkard, records say, had at different times stalked Still, taken jewelry and a checkbook from her home and, in one case over the past two months, arranged for a fellow officer to help him follow her.

Before the original arrest on March 9, Drinkard had been suspended after Still reported the incidents to her bosses at the Brooksville Police Department and they launched an internal affairs investigation.

His superiors immediately ordered him to turn in his badge and his gun.

On Feb. 28, with his finger on the trigger, Drinkard walked into the agency's lobby and placed his loaded .45-caliber Glock on the counter, security video shows. The former patrolman, authorities say, would later acknowledge that he was so drunk he couldn't remember dropping off the firearm. It sat, unnoticed and unsecured, for more than four minutes.

Normally, Still sits in the receptionist's chair behind a sheet of glass on the other side of the counter on which Drinkard left his gun. At that moment, she wasn't there. The day after the incident, Chief George Turner terminated Drinkard for what he called "gross negligence." The officer had worked for the department since 2007.

Drinkard, 44, had a history of problems at other agencies. In 2003, he resigned from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office while being investigated for violating agency policy.

Ex-Brooksville officer arrested again, charged with violating injunction 03/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:24pm]
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