Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando deputy arrested on battery, false imprisonment charges

William C. Martinez, 45, stands accused of “in­appro­pri­ate contact” with a woman.

William C. Martinez, 45, stands accused of “in­appro­pri­ate contact” with a woman.

BROOKSVILLE — A veteran Hernando sheriff's deputy was arrested Monday on charges of battery and false imprisonment.

The accusations against Deputy William C. Martinez prompted Sheriff Al Nienhuis to fire him.

The charges stem from an encounter Martinez had with a woman involved in a traffic accident early Thursday morning in Spring Hill, according to a news release issued late Monday by sheriff's officials.

The release gives this account:

Martinez, 45, responded to the single-vehicle crash near the intersection of Deltona Boulevard and Founder Road about 2 a.m. along with the Florida Highway Patrol. When the troopers completed their investigation of the accident, Martinez gave the driver a ride home.

On Friday, the woman came to the Sheriff's Office and accused Martinez of "inappropriate conduct and contact" during the ride to her home.

Martinez denied the allegations. The woman provided unspecified physical evidence that was submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for review. The results came back Monday and showed Martinez was untruthful about the encounter.

The Sheriff's Office did not release additional details.

A warrant was issued Monday for Martinez's arrest. He was booked into the Hernando Detention Center on Monday evening on charges of false imprisonment and battery, and was being held on $2,500 bail, records show.

Nienhuis fired Martinez for "immoral conduct" and "inability to give truthful testimony," the release states.

Martinez's personnel file was not available Monday, but the Tampa Bay Times reviewed the file last fall.

Martinez started with the agency in 1992 and worked as a dog handler from 1998 to May 2011. He received glowing performance reviews during that time and was promoted to canine coordinator in 2006.

The first blemish on his record came in 2010, when Martinez was suspended without pay after he failed to notify supervisors that he was given a criminal traffic summons while driving an agency vehicle in Georgia.

In 2011, internal investigations found that Martinez signed the names of two subordinates on a payroll sheet without their permission, failed to keep accurate records for the canine unit's narcotics lockers, and did not properly document his canine-training activities.

During the investigation of the last offense, Martinez made a "cascading series of misstatements" and tried to deflect responsibility, Col. Mike Maurer wrote in a disciplinary memo. He was suspended without pay for seven days and demoted from corporal to patrol deputy.

Martinez filed a federal lawsuit in 2012 claiming the Sheriff's Office failed to properly compensate him for time spent training and caring for his canine partners. A judge awarded Martinez $1,075.44, a fraction of the amount he claimed he was owed.

On his 2012 annual evaluation, his overall performance was graded "above standard." A supervisor called him an asset to the squad.

Hernando deputy arrested on battery, false imprisonment charges 01/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after:Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season

    Blogs

    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2 1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    But he can use his last few outings to remind the Rays, and himself, of how good he can be.
    He did it the hard way Thursday, allowing three runs as four of the …

  2. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  3. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  4. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  5. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]