Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas deputy serves one-day suspension

A Pinellas sheriff's sergeant who pulled over two Pasco deputies, found out they had been drinking and then let them go has been suspended for one day.

Sgt. John Daniels, 50, who has almost 30 years on the force, served the suspension without pay on Saturday, his normal workday.

The incident happened late on the night of Sept. 21, when Daniels was patrolling along Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs. He clocked a Dodge Charger going 98 mph and weaving around cars in a no-passing zone.

When Daniels caught up, the Charger was stopped at an intersection and the passenger was standing outside and urinating, Daniels wrote in his report.

He would come to find out that the driver and the passenger were Pasco sheriff's deputies, and they told him they had been out drinking.

Daniels documented all this in a report. What he didn't do was investigate.

He asked the driver, Jose Berrios, if he would take a breath test, a field test to determine his sobriety. When Berrios declined, Daniels didn't insist.

He did not administer field sobriety exercises or a Breathalyzer, a different test that measures blood alcohol content. He just let the deputies call for a ride home.

Berrios, 25, was first placed on desk duty, then fired in October. A Pasco spokesman said Sheriff Bob White had lost confidence in Berrios' ability to do his job.

The passenger, Kurt Hentschel, 25, returned to regular duty. He is still under investigation by the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

In a Pinellas Sheriff's Office memo, Daniels was found to have violated the sheriff's general order regarding performance of duty.

"Although you reported the odor of alcohol on the driver's breath, that his eyes were glassy, and that he appeared to be under the influence, you chose not to conduct a standard DUI investigation," the memo from Capt. Teresa Dioquino says.

It also says Daniels failed to notify anyone at the Sheriff's Office about the traffic stop for nearly an hour and a half.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Pinellas deputy serves one-day suspension 12/02/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 4, 2008 3:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.