Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando deputy accused of assaulting wife will return to duty

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent will allow a deputy accused of assaulting his wife to return to duty, even though he said he is disappointed by the deputy's conduct and "poor judgment.''

In a memo, Nugent told Jeffrey Swartz, 34, that he had reviewed the internal affairs investigation of the Oct. 3 incident at Swartz's Spring Hill home in which the deputy got into an argument with his wife, Joyanna, that turned physical.

According to a sheriff's report, Swartz pushed his wife to the floor of their bedroom and placed his arms around her neck, but she broke free. He tried to restrain her by grabbing her arms, but she fended him off and called the Sheriff's Office for help, the report said.

Swartz was arrested on a count of misdemeanor domestic battery and was placed on administrative leave. Prosecutors later recommended that the charge be dropped.

The sheriff noted in his memo, dated Tuesday, that the investigation into whether Swartz violated the conduct-unbecoming policy was hampered by a lack of cooperation from Swartz's wife and his friends, who were at the deputy's home when the incident occurred.

According to a report by the State Attorney's Office, Swartz's wife had been drinking heavily that evening. Joyanna Swartz said "she got intoxicated and blew up and got out of control," the report said, adding, "She admitted that she had almost a complete blackout of the events."

During the evening, Swartz's wife reportedly became angry and despondent and wielded a butcher knife and a razor. Swartz said he grabbed her to prevent her from harming herself, and she later had trouble recounting the events of the evening.

The couple's friends told prosecutors that Joyanna Swartz had gotten "out of control" and that Swartz was merely trying to calm her down.

The report notes that Joyanna Swartz was clearly intoxicated during her 911 call and couldn't even recall her home phone number.

The photos of her injuries were "consistent with someone having tried to gain control" of her.

Nugent said in his memo to Swartz that he would not change the disposition of "unfounded" made by the internal affairs investigator and that Swartz would be returned promptly to duties as a sworn deputy.

But Nugent had stern words in his memo for Swartz, who has worked at the Sheriff's Office since April 2001.

"It is my opinion that the exercise of poor judgment on your part contributed directly to the incident at your home,'' he wrote. "Your statement that the event has resulted in embarrassment for both your family and this agency is correct.''

Hernando deputy accused of assaulting wife will return to duty 12/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 7:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Gator snaps at photographer who got too close at Paynes Prairie


    Perhaps this guy should have just used a zoom lens.

    A video that was posted June 17 on Facebook by Ben Boukari Jr. shows the gator lurching at the photographer, causing him to stumble behind some shrubbery as it chomped at a tripod and rested near his backpack before staring him down. [Facebook]

  2. Timmy Claus is coming to town


    The circus is coming to town.

    Well, close enough.

    Timmy the Tebow is coming to Tampa Bay.

    It’s true. At least it could be. St. Timothy has been promoted by the New York Mets to high Class-A Port St. Lucie. If he stays promoted, Tebow should be in Tampa Bay for eight games beginning August 10 …

    Coming soon: Tim Tebow will hit Tampa Bay in August.
  3. Today: Scientology to film mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology will be filming a mock FBI raid on its downtown campus Monday at 3 p.m., according to the Clearwater Police Department.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  4. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks


    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks:

  5. Video shows giant humpback whale breaching right off side of boat


    A man filmed a whale breaching really close to his boat in a video that has gone viral.

    A giant whale breached right next to a boat in the waters off New Jersey last week. It was captured on video.