Thursday, July 19, 2018
Public safety

Report: Fired Florida deputy didn't follow up on sex crimes

NAPLES — A fired Florida deputy failed to follow up on 24 of 35 cases assigned to him, the majority of which were alleged sex crimes, a newspaper reported Sunday.

A Naples Daily News investigation found Collier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael McNeely didn't even take the most basic investigative steps in those cases, included alleged sex crimes against children.

That included the case of a man who recently confessed to another investigator that he took cellphone video underneath a 15-year-old girls skirt nearly two years ago as she waited in line at a store to pay for school supplies. Another customer alerted the girl and her mother, and they ran to the parking lot and took photos of the man and his license plate.

The case was assigned to McNeely, who never followed up, the newspaper reported. After he was fired in April, another investigator took over the case and found store surveillance video that showed the man with his phone under the girl's skirt. He tracked down the suspect through his license plate number, and the man admitted he took the video. But he also said he switched to a new phone about a year earlier and no longer had his old one. Without the video, no charges were filed.

The internal investigation into McNeely began after another mother complained that McNeely didn't return phone calls and messages on a case assigned to him about a 30-year-old neighbor soliciting her minor daughter for sex over social media. McNeely told supervisors he didn't get the messages and that he called the mother several times and didn't hear back from her. But phone records show McNeely reviewed and deleted four voicemails from the mother and that he never called her.

Investigators wrote that McNeely "had not documented anything in this investigation" for several months. When his supervisor asked him about the delay in the investigation, McNelly blamed it on not being able to reach the mother.

"This explanation to his supervisor was untruthful," investigators wrote.

McNeely told the newspaper in a phone interview that he made "a couple mistakes," but that he wasn't a liar and his mistakes didn't affect the case.

"It's a humiliation that I live with every day," he said. "I lost a career that I loved."

The sheriff's office declined to comment on the case.

Comments

Deputies: Masked shooter wounds Dunedin woman in home invasion

DUNEDIN — Deputies are searching for a black-clad gunman who shot and wounded an 18-year-old woman during a home invasion attack Wednesday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.The shooting was reported at about 1:03 p.m. at 1144 New Yor...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

WEEKI WACHEE — A diver exploring the Eagle’s Nest, a notoriously dangerous underwater cave, failed to resurface from a Wednesday night dive, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.The person was free diving, according to the Sheriff’s Offi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pinellas deputies: Man charged with pregnant woman’s murder injures jail inmate

Pinellas deputies: Man charged with pregnant woman’s murder injures jail inmate

LARGO — The man accused of fatally shooting a pregnant woman while she was riding home from church with her family last year now faces allegations that he assaulted a jail inmate who has since died.Charles G. Allen Jr., 41, already faces two counts o...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Video shows a Polk County store clerk shooting a man who was stealing Natural Ice beer

Video shows a Polk County store clerk shooting a man who was stealing Natural Ice beer

A Lakeland convenience store clerk has been charged with attempted second-degree murder after he chased and shot a man who walked out with $36 worth of Natural Ice beer.Mehedeun Hasan, 22, and his father Q M Monsur Rahman, 61, were behind the counter...
Updated: 12 hours ago
‘Rather die first’: Gibsonton man shot by deputies didn’t want to be without his estranged wife, Facebook posts show

‘Rather die first’: Gibsonton man shot by deputies didn’t want to be without his estranged wife, Facebook posts show

RIVERVIEW — Tim Braun took to Facebook early Friday morning to tell the world, or at least friends, how determined he was save his marriage."Will not give up on my wife," he typed in black letters on a light green pattern of stylized cats. "Rather di...
Published: 07/18/18
These men were promised anonymous sex. They wound up on a porn site instead.

These men were promised anonymous sex. They wound up on a porn site instead.

The men thought they were going to a South Miami-Dade house for a casual and clandestine tryst with a bored housewife.Once there, the men agreed to be blindfolded, and for sex acts to be performed on them. What the victims did not know, federal agent...
Published: 07/18/18
Fourth victim recovered after planes from troubled flight school crash in Everglades

Fourth victim recovered after planes from troubled flight school crash in Everglades

As investigators continued to scour the Everglades Wednesday morning in the aftermath of Tuesday’s mid-air collision between two small aircraft, police said they recovered a fourth body.By mid-morning, the body had not yet been identified."Homicide i...
Published: 07/18/18
Lakeland teen, 15, killed in Dade City crash

Lakeland teen, 15, killed in Dade City crash

DADE CITY — A Lakeland teen was killed Tuesday night and a Lake Wales teen was critically injured in a crash on U.S. 301.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 17-year-old Abigail Nicole Trammel, of Lake Wales, was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer west...
Published: 07/18/18
Spring Hill man killed in Hernando motorcycle crash

Spring Hill man killed in Hernando motorcycle crash

SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill man was killed Tuesday after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by another vehicle, the Florida Highway Patrol said.According to an FHP release, Michael Lucian Deleon, 26, was riding a 2001 GSX 1000 north on U.S. 19 a...
Published: 07/18/18
Residents use technological solution to combat tech-created problem: theft by porch pirates

Residents use technological solution to combat tech-created problem: theft by porch pirates

TAMPA — Four packages landed on the porch of a Palma Ceia home one day last month. Inside were shoes and supplies for a children’s birthday party. At 4:52 p.m. on a Friday, a man in a white hat calmly gathered up the brown boxes.Then he drove away fr...
Published: 07/18/18