Earlier this week, officers with the Clearwater Police Department made an arrest of an off-duty Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy after observing his vehicle blow through a Tampa Bay intersection.
About 20 minutes after 2 am on Wednesday, March 15, officers with Clearwater PD conducted a routine traffic stop at the intersection of Belcher Road and Gulf to Bay Boulevard in Clearwater. The patrol car observed as the Toyota Tacoma pick up truck failed to stop at a red light.
When officers made contact, it was discovered the driver was 45-year-old Pinellas County Deputy, Rickey Rogers. Officers state that Rogers not only refused to submit a breathalyzer sample, but showed showed obvious and observable signs of impairment. He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on him, as well as slurred speech, glossed over and watery eyes.
According to officers, the 45-year-old did agree to conduct a field sobriety test, but performed poorly on the exercises, resulting in an arrest with a misdemeanor charge of one count while Driving Under the Influence — a violation of Florida statute 315.193. He also received a citation for the red light violation, which carried a $264 fine.
Working as a deputy for Pinellas County's Patrol Operations Bureau, Rogers was hired on the 12th of July in 2004, serving the community for almost 20 years. He was immediately terminated for the incident by Pinellas County Sheriff, Bob Gualtieri, consistent with a Sheriff's Office policy that Gualtieri announced in 2013 promising to terminate any officers that get DUIs.
The 45-year-old ex-deputy spent nearly 5 hours in jail before being released. Rogers was released on his own recognizance — a promise made in front of a judge that he will appear at the his next scheduled court date — records show.
Additional public records reveal that the ex-deputy has a history of reckless driving, receiving two previous tickets on February 22 in 1996. One for unlawful speeding, where he received a reduced penalty, had to complete driving courses, and an officer's work sheet. He also received a $29 ticket for failing to wear his seatbelt.
You can view Roger's inmate booking details on the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office website here.
Article by Rachael Volpe