Safety Harbor Man Killed Before Pinellas Police Could Arrest him for Sexual Battery
Whittel & Melton 727-847-2299 – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
A 42-year-old Safety Harbor man with a 16-month-old arrest warrant was shot to death in a motel room in Treasure Island by Pinellas deputies as they apparently tried to arrest him on a charge of sexual battery.
He was shot when he allegedly threatened police with a knife.
Police claim the man raped and impregnated his live-in girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter.
The deputies’ decision to use deadly force is under review.
While the man’s case is over, many believe it is a public safety issue that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri eliminated a team of 16 deputies whose primary responsibility was to find and arrest fugitives like the deceased.
Currently there are 56,000 outstanding arrest warrants in Pinellas County.
In February 2011, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the deceased on a felony charge of obtaining oxycodone by fraud. However, the man was not arrested until July 2012 when he was taken into custody and released on $7,500 bond. A month earlier, the man allegedly raped his girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter, who discovered she was pregnant in August.
Police claim the man eluded arrest because his last known address was in St. Petersburg not his girlfriend’s address is Safety Harbor.
According to Gualtieri, even if the man had been arrested, he could have been released on bail. However, others argue that the man could have been incarcerated, even if for a short term.
If you believe there may be an outstanding warrant for your arrest, it is best to contact a sex crimes defense lawyer immediately so that you can handle this warrant efficiently. Many times it is beneficial to turn yourself in with the help of a sex crimes attorney so that you can dodge the humiliation of being escorted from your residence or office in handcuffs. To get help making the right decision for your case, your first step should be to contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. There are lots of different ways to handle an outstanding warrant. Often times a small amount of planning can go a long way with respect to initial handling of your defense.
For further assistance with your arrest warrant in Pinellas County or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call us in St. Petersburg at 727-847-2299. You can reach us 24/7 statewide and toll-free by dialing 866-608-5529.