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Hillsborough deputy accused of Taser abuse

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy with a nearly flawless 10-year career deployed his sheriff's Taser repeatedly on his wife Saturday before putting his service weapon to her head, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Deputy Carlos Thomas Tanner, 38, remains in custody without bail, facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence battery.

Jail records state that he was involuntarily committed to a health agency for mental evaluation under Florida's Baker Act. He remains on administrative leave without pay while criminal and internal investigations are conducted.

At about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Tanner, who had been drinking, got into a fight with his wife, Kristine, 34, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

Tanner shoved her onto the bed, removed his Taser from his Sheriff's Office-issued duty belt and Tasered her three to four times on the stomach, burning her, Carter said.

Tanner then took out his service weapon, a silver semiautomatic handgun, from underneath the mattress and placed it against Kristine Tanner's left temple for about 10 seconds, Carter said.

Kristine Tanner fled to a friend's house, where authorities were called. Sheriff's deputies arrested Carlos Tanner at his Dover home.

The Tanners have two children, Carter said. The children did not experience any violence or threats and were turned over to their mother, she said.

The brief violent episode contrasted sharply with Tanner's record in law enforcement, according to his personnel file.

A graduate of Plant City High School, Tanner wrote in his sheriff's application that he dreamed of joining the agency.

"I feel this career is a highly respectable career where I could give back to the community as much as it has given me," Tanner wrote in July 1997. "I will always give my law enforcement career my highest regard and strive to give 100 percent."

He finished first in his class at the police academy and earned the Academic Excellence Award and the Top Shotgun Award.

He collected satisfactory marks on performance reviews and was told to work on his interviewing skills, communication with bosses and self-confidence. He was a Deputy of the Month in October 2005.

Repeatedly, Tanner won praise for responding to crimes in progress and making arrests.

He was reprimanded once, on Oct. 16, 2003, when he missed a subpoena appointment because he had made an arrest in a burglary and took the suspect to a juvenile detention center.

Family and friends reached by the Times declined to comment. No one was at his Dover home Monday.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Justin George can be reached at (813) 226-3368 or jgeorge@sptimes.com.

Hillsborough deputy accused of Taser abuse 07/07/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 5:38pm]
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