Hillsborough sheriff’s sergeant faces charge of boating under the influence

The incident took place this past weekend in Crystal River. The sergeant was placed on administrative leave.
Published July 9
Updated July 10

A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detention sergeant was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of boating under the influence this past weekend, according to the agency.

Sgt. Ryan Harvester was arrested Saturday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission while operating his personal vessel in Crystal River, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Harvester, 35, has worked at the Sheriff's Office since 2006. He was placed on administrative leave while the agency investigates the incident.

“As law enforcement officers, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard than the general public,” Sheriff Chad Chronister in a statement. “There is no exception for a deputy who is driving or boating under the influence.”

Harvester failed field sobriety exercises and refused to take a Breathalyzer exam, according to the arrest report. He was also cited for a speed zone violation. He was booked into the Citrus County jail, where he was held in lieu of $500 bail. Jail records do not show when he was freed.

In July 2018, another Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy was arrested on a charge of BUI while operating a pontoon boat in Tampa Bay, near Apollo Beach. The deputy was placed on unpaid administrative leave during the investigation.

The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office later dismissed the charge because a Breathalyzer exam revealed the deputy’s blood-alcohol level was 0.06 percent. State law presumes a driver or boater is impaired at 0.08 percent or greater.

That deputy was later reinstated to the force and still works at the Sheriff's Office.

Contact Kavitha Surana at ksurana@tampabay.com or 727-893-8149. Follow @ksurana6.

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