Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fired Brooksville police officer was being investigated on a stalking allegation

BROOKSVILLE — With his finger on the trigger, Bryan Drinkard walked into the lobby of the Brooksville Police Department and placed his loaded .45-caliber Glock on the counter.

At that time, on Feb. 28, Drinkard was the subject of an internal affairs investigation and had been suspended, then ordered to turn in his badge and his gun. The now-fired 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.

The details of the internal affairs inquiry were released Wednesday, and another startling detail emerged: Drinkard was being investigated because he had allegedly harassed and stalked his former girlfriend, co-worker Tiffany Still. 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.

Chief George Turner terminated Drinkard the next day for what he called "gross negligence." He had worked at 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.

After being fired from the Brooksville agency, Turner suspended the internal affairs investigation and released the record.

Drinkard, the report said, had at different times stalked Still, taken jewelry and a checkbook from her home, and in one case arranged for a fellow officer, Joseph Nelson, to help him follow her.

When Nelson realized what Drinkard wanted him to do, authorities say, the officer told Drinkard that he wanted nothing to do with the plan and he left. Nelson later reported the incident to a superior.

Because none of the alleged incidents occurred within Brooksville, Turner said his agency would not pursue criminal charges. He informed Still that she could contact the Hernando County Sheriff's Office if she wished to pursue the case.

Drinkard's attorney, Jimmy Brown, said his client was prepared to fight the accusations, and he was disappointed that Turner had made the investigation public without allowing them the chance to respond. Brown said he was prepared to present evidence and numerous witnesses who would have proven that Drinkard had done nothing wrong to his former girlfriend.

"They closed it halfway through the investigation but then released (the record)," Brown said. "At halftime, how do you know how the game ends?"

Brown, however, said Drinkard acknowledged that he shouldn't have left his loaded weapon in the agency's lobby last week.

"It was the wrong thing to do. It was not safe," Brown said. "He recognizes that."

The firing will likely end Drinkard's law enforcement career, Brown said, adding that he believed his client should have been allowed to resign.

Turner disagreed.

"There's no right to resign," the chief said. "The conduct involved such gross negligence on his part that I would have never allowed him to resign."

John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or

Fired Brooksville police officer was being investigated on a stalking allegation 03/07/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 8:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Too much of education bill done ‘behind closed doors,’ GOP contender for governor says


    Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam joined the chorus of critics of the Florida Legislature’s massive K-12 education bill that heavily favors charter schools over traditional public schools.

    2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam and Gov. Rick Scott talk on the first day of the Legislature's annual session in March.
  2. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he's ready to invest $100 million in medical marijuana. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Avalos gets life in prison for killing Bradenton neighbor, pastor


    BRADENTON — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor.

    Andres "Andy" Avalos has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor. 

[File photo from Manatee County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Manchester police hunt for accomplices; Islamic State group claims responsibility for blast

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  5. Why's Pam Bondi raising money? Not to run for office, she says.


    Term-limited Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi may have restarted her political fundraising, but she says she's not considering a run for another public office.

    Attorney General Pam Bondi