TAMPA — Prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against a former Hillsborough sheriff’s sergeant who was fired and arrested last summer after he was accused of pointing a gun at a man’s head and threatening him during an arrest.
In reviewing the case of former Sgt. Janak Amin, prosecutors concluded that his actions as a law enforcement officer were not unlawful.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren summarized his office’s findings in a letter sent late Friday to Sheriff Chad Chronister.
Chronister announced Amin’s arrest and firing in a July 10 news conference, calling his actions “despicable.”
On July 9, Amin was among several deputies involved in arresting Carl Elkins, a Tampa man who had an active warrant. When they located him, near N Nebraska Avenue and E Annie Street, Elkins tried to hide in a wooded area, according to an arrest report.
The sheriff described Elkins as being in a prone position as he was taken into custody. Amin, who was kneeling next to him, pointed his weapon at Elkins’ forehead and threatened to shoot if he did not identify himself, according to the sheriff’s report.
“In short, the evidence establishes that Sgt. Amin drew his weapon to provide cover for himself and the other deputies arresting Elkins, and that Elkins was not handcuffed and was actively resisting arrest at the time or immediately before the threat was made,” Warren’s letter stated. “Threatening a noncompliant and potentially dangerous suspect to make him obey commands and submit to a lawful arrest is allowed under Florida law.”
Amin had faced a possible charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but the case against him had not moved in court since his arrest.
His attorney, Paul Sisco, said his office had done their own review of the case and presented their findings to the state attorney.
“They were careful, deliberate and just and we appreciate the forum they gave us,” Sisco said. “No one was short circuited here. Justice was served from all sides.”
The Sheriff’s Office, in a statement, declined comment on the case, citing pending litigation. But they said the state attorney’s findings have no impact on their decision to fire Amin.