TAMPA — Hillsborough sheriff's deputies arrested one of their own Sunday and charged him with boating under the influence.
Deputy Alexander Craver, 28, was arrested about 3 p.m., booked into the Hillsborough County jail and released on $500 bail, according the Sheriff's Office.
A marine patrol deputy spotted Craver's pontoon-style boat in Tampa Bay near a spoil island off Apollo Beach about 2:30 p.m., an arrest report says. The deputy turned on the boat's emergency lights to make a safety inspection stop and Craver, who was behind the wheel of the boat, initially failed to slow down even after spotting the marked patrol boat, the report says.
Craver motioned to a woman on the boat to take the wheel and they switched spots while the boat was still moving and in gear, the report says. The woman took the helm, put the boat in neutral and it came to a stop.
Craver initially told a deputy he didn't have identification, then produced a Florida driver's license, according to the report. The deputy noticed several open beer containers on the boat, including one in a cupholder at the helm.
The deputy asked Craver to produce personal flotation devices and a throwable float. Craver stumbled and braced himself and was unable to comply even after the deputy explained what the device looked like, the report says. The deputy then pointed out a flotation device attached to the captain's chair of the boat.
The deputy smelled alcohol on Craver's breath and he performed poorly on field sobriety tests, the report says.
Craver was taken to a Sheriff's Office marine station and after a 20-minute observation period provided breath samples showing his blood alcohol level at .058 and .056. Florida presumes a driver or boater is impaired at a level of .08.
Craver, of Riverview, started with the Sheriff's Office in 2012 as a community service officer in Detention Services and then worked in the Communications Center, according to a news release. He became a patrol deputy in 2017.
He was suspended without pay pending an internal investigation. He has no prior disciplinary history, according to the Sheriff's Office.
"We are 100 percent committed to doing whatever it takes to keep our roadways and waterways safe from impaired operators, especially during a holiday season," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the news release. "Unfortunately, one of our own was arrested."
Contact Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.