Video: Off-duty Fla. deputy fired after fleeing traffic stop
“You wanna run, seriously? Are you a cop?” one deputy asked. The now-former deputy replied, “I am one, yes.”
By Cristóbal Reyes
ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orange County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy was fired Friday after he was arrested while off-duty for fleeing a traffic stop by Lake County deputies.
Along with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, Juan Morales-Padilla, 44, faces a charge of resisting arrest and has since been released on bond from the Lake County Jail, records show.
Deputies tried stopping Morales-Padilla after he illegally weaved past another vehicle on his motorcycle Wednesday night, but he sped up after the deputy activated his patrol car’s lights and siren, video released by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office showed. Instead of chasing him, deputies ran the motorcycle’s license plate and went to Morales-Padilla’s home in Groveland, according to an affidavit.
Body camera video obtained by The Orlando Sentinel showed deputies ushering Morales-Padilla out of his home and into the back of the patrol car.
“You wanna run, seriously? Are you a cop?” one deputy asked. Morales-Padilla replied, “I am one, yes.”
“Yes? So you know better,” the deputy said.
Morales-Padilla was hired last September and was a probationary employee, an Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said in an unsigned statement.
“These are serious allegations, and I have been clear that there will be no tolerance for criminal behavior involving deputies,” Sheriff John Mina said of Morales-Padilla’s arrest in a statement Friday. “At the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, we hold our deputies to the highest ethical standards whether they are on duty or off duty.”
The Orange deputy’s arrest is similar to the arrest of Orlando Police Department Officer Alexander Shaouni, who was stopped for speeding in his patrol car but left the scene after refusing to give a Seminole County deputy his license. Shaouni was formally charged Friday with fleeing and eluding law enforcement.
Shaouni was “relieved of duty” while his criminal case proceeds and as OPD conducts an internal investigation.