Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco jail deputy fired, arrested on child abuse charge

A Pasco County deputy was arrested on a charge of child abuse Friday, accused of choking and threatening a 16-year-old jail inmate.

Deputy Norman Grant had been on administrative leave while the June 20 incident was investigated. He was fired Friday. He had worked at the Sheriff's Office since April 2006.

According to Pasco sheriff's officials, the teenage inmate, whose name was not released, was banging his head against his cell door around 5:30 p.m. Deputies put him in a restraint chair with leg straps and handcuffed him. After he was able to loosen the straps, Grant tightened them.

The inmate complained that the straps were too tight and pushed his legs out to stop Grant from tightening them further. Grant, who is about 6 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds, grabbed the boy's neck with his left hand and choked him to the point where he could not breathe, according to an arrest report.

Grant then whispered, "Stop or I'll break your neck," according to the report.

About 20 minutes later, the inmate told a mental health counselor that he had been choked, and the counselor noticed red marks on the boy's neck and a scrape on his chin.

The incident was captured on video, but the Sheriff's Office declined to release it because it's evidence in the case.

This isn't the first time Grant, 44, has been under the Sheriff's Office microscope. He was the subject of three previous internal investigations.

In 2011, according to Sheriff's Office records, he pepper sprayed an inmate who was repeatedly pressing an emergency call button and verbally threatening another inmate. The inmate was secured in his cell, and the pepper spray can malfunctioned. Grant said the rules didn't specify that he couldn't pepper spray an inmate in his cell.

In 2012, he was investigated after he punched a handcuffed and shackled inmate in the head several times. Other deputies were present for the incident, but the details of their reports conflicted.

That inmate sued, and in February, Grant was investigated again after the inmate told deputies that Grant threatened harm to him and his family if he continued with the lawsuit. The inmate said Grant also warned a trainee who was with him to keep quiet about the confrontation.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said Friday that a lack of evidence cleared Grant in all three investigations.

He called the alleged incidents "dots along the way" to the child abuse charge.

"This deputy probably should've never worn a badge," he said.

But in January 2012, Grant was awarded the Pasco Sheriff's Office Meritorious Service Medal for Courage after he was injured while restraining a violent inmate.

Grant was booked into the jail at 7:45 a.m. Friday and released after posting $5,000 bail.

Clare Lennon can be reached at [email protected].

Pasco jail deputy fired, arrested on child abuse charge 07/05/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 5, 2013 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — In what is likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Mayor Rick Kriseman (right) squared off against former Mayor Rick Baker (left) during a debate moderated by Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith (center) Wednesday night. [CHARLIE FRAGO | Times]
  2. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners


    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  3. UF president Kent Fuchs: 'Charlottesville changed everything' (w/video)


    GAINESVILLE — Wednesday evening, hazy rumors of an impending Neo-Nazi march reached some wary protesters. A few quickly rallied to denounce the marchers in downtown Gainesville, only to find plazas empty but for police.

    University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs talks with reporters Wednesday about white nationalist Richard Spencer's planned speech on Thursday. He said of Spencer: "In a small way, he is causing us to redouble our focus on supporting actions that are the opposite of what he wants." [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Kenya vote chief says 'difficult' to have credible election


    NAIROBI, Kenya — It is "difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election" in Kenya's fresh presidential vote just eight days away despite "full technical preparedness," the head of the election commission said Wednesday as another wave of uncertainty swept through East Africa's largest economy.

  5. International array of artists chosen as finalists for Pier project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A diverse group of six artists will compete for a chance to install their work at the city's multimillion-dollar Pier District, expected to open in early 2019.