A Pinellas sheriff's deputy has been disciplined for accidentally firing his handgun into his cruiser's trunk, puncturing the car's gas tank. Internal Affairs investigators determined Deputy Sean Jowell, 27, carelessly handled his 9mm Glock 17. He was suspended for a day without pay May 23, given a written reprimand, put on three months' probation and attended a firearms safety course.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred May 13 after Jowell parked his cruiser in his driveway. Jowell, who has been a deputy for about two years, arrived home after a firearms training session at the Wyoming Antelope Club and began removing equipment from his trunk, records show.
Jowell prepared to dismantle his handgun to clean it and removed the magazine, but was distracted by a telephone call. When he returned to clean the weapon, which is uncocked by pulling the trigger, he did not take a round out of the gun.
The deputy pulled the trigger, firing once. The bullet pierced the top of a briefcase in the trunk and hit the gas tank, partly filling the cruiser's trunk with gas, records show.
Jowell reported the incident and told investigators he improperly handled the weapon.
In a separate investigation, officials concluded that a corrections officer violated regulations while transporting county jail inmates by mingling male and female prisoners.
Corrections officer Edward Longano, a department employee for nine years, was suspended without pay for one day, put on six months' probation and given a written reprimand, records show.
An investigation determined that on May 1, Longano loaded about 10 male prisoners into a van at the Pinellas County Jailcomplex for transport to another site. A female inmate that Longano already had picked up for transportation was also in the van.
State law and departmental regulations prohibit transporting male and female prisoners together.
Longano, 45, told investigators that he forgot he already had a female inmate in the van when he loaded and transported the male passengers.