Court Cases I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

VIDEO: Former Auxiliary Trooper Arrested for DUI Pleads Not Guilty

By: Eyewitness News; Garin Flowers; Mike Springer Email
By: Eyewitness News; Garin Flowers; Mike Springer Email

[UPDATE] Feb. 17, 2012 -

A former Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary trooper charged with DUI has pleads not guilty.

A former Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary trooper charged with DUI has pleads not guilty. Troopers say 61- year-old Larry Peddie was drunk while working as a security guard at an I-10 rest stop in Tallahassee last month. Peddie had been an auxiliary trooper for nearly 20 years. He was fired after the arrest. The next time Peddie faces a judge will be in late March.

_________________________________

UPDATE January 6, 2012 4:30pm

A spokesman for G-4 security says Larry Peddie has been.terminated from the company. And according to FHP, he has also been terminated from his position as an auxiliary trooper.

----------------------------------------

January 6, 2012

"Oh my God. I never thought this would happen to me," says Larry Peddie

That's the voice of 61-year-old Larry Peddie from the back of an FHP patrol car. Peddie was arrested Tuesday for DUI. He was working at an I-10 rest stop in Tallahassee when troopers got the call.

"We're going to start the cam on the medical call of the security guard stumbling. It's come to light that he may be drinking."

In the video, you can see the trooper pulling Peddie aside, questioning him about how much he's drank.

" Was that bottle full, half full, empty when you started it?," asks the trooper.
"Ah, almost empty," responds Peddie.

The trooper begins administering a field sobriety tests to Peddie. He struggles to keep his balance.

"Don't forget to put your hand down, okay? Don't fall buddy," says the trooper.

Troopers then tells Peddie they're taking him to the Leon County Jail to administer a Breathalyzer test.

"I'm done,"says Peddie.
"That's not for me to say,' says the trooper.
"Yeah, I'm done," says Peddie.

Peddie is placed into handcuffs and put into the back of the cruiser. The trooper advises him of his rights before heading to the jail

"They're going to ask you if you're a law enforcement officer or not. Okay? And because you work for us you're exempt, " says the trooper.

Peddie bonded out later that day. He'll return to court February 16.

FHP says Peddie has been relieved of his duties as an auxiliary trooper. He had been one for nearly twenty years

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 6, 2012 -

Larry Peddie is a former auxiliary trooper with FHP. He was working as an armed security guard at a rest stop Tuesday when he was arrested and charged with DUI.


The Florida Highway Patrol releases dash camera video

But Peddie's mug shot was noticeably absent from the booking report. That's because under Florida Law, the home address and mug shot of a law enforcement official is exempt from being released.

It's a law Matt Puckett with the Florida Police Benevolent Association says is necessary to protect the state's law enforcement members.

"There's the potential for someone who wants to do them harm to seek retribution," says Puckett

The state defines a law enforcement official as any person who has the authority to bear arms and make arrests; and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime. That makes auxiliary troopers like Peddie exempt.


The Florida Highway Patrol releases dash camera video

"I see the need for an exemption as it applies to law enforcement officers but I don't think though the exemption should apply to those officers who have committed a crime," says Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation.

Barbara Petersen works for the First Amendment Foundation and wants to see the law changed.

"If the officer was convicted, I'm sorry, charged with a felony, then the mug shot should be released.'

Puckett says the PBA could be open to seeing changes to the law as long as it doesn't put an officer or their family in jeopardy.

Others whose mug shots are exempt from being released to the public include firefighters, justices, state attorneys, magistrates, code enforcement officers, guardians ad litem, probation officers, and correctional officers.

----------------------------------------
UPDATE - January 4, 2012 - Noon -

A former auxiliary FHP trooper is facing DUI charges. He was arrested Monday. But unlike most people who are arrested, his mug shot has been exempt from being released to the public.

The law was created to protect law enforcement officials from any possible retribution or harm by making exempt the mug shots and home addresses of law enforcement officials who have been arrested. Now it's important to note that they are exempt, but not necessary confidential. This means if the agency in charge of making the arrest wishes to release that information, it can. This exemption extends to not only active but retired law enforcement officials.

Eyewitness News spoke to the First Amendment Agency and they say they would like to see the mug shots released because they feel the public has a right to see those mug shots and releasing them is necessary in some instances for the public's safety.

We will have more on this story later this evening.
________________________

An auxiliary FHP trooper - and security guard - is behind bars today.

He was arrested for drunk driving.

If you take a look at the January 4th Leon County jail booking report, Larry Peddie's photo isn't on it.

That's because under state law, law enforcement officers are exempt from having their pictures released.

61-year-old Peddie was arrested Tuesday at an I-10 rest stop near the Leon-Gadsden County line.

He was working as a security guard at the time.

A visitor at the rest stop was the first to notice Peddie stumbling.

Peddie was arrested and later given a Breathalyzer. Arrest reports say it registered .24. That's three times the legal limit.

"You know when I saw him the first time, I ain't pay it no attention," said Tyrone Sweet, a rest area attendant, where Peddie was arrested.

"I figured maybe he just act like that. You know, but come to find out, he was drinking."

Arrest reports say Peddie admitted to drinking earlier in the day.

During his arrest, an officer confiscated his security shirt and a gun.

Peddie also worked as a volunteer with the Florida Highway Patrol.

He has been removed from that job.

--------------------------------------------------

UPDATE - January 4, 2012 6:40pm

According to the Leon County Jail, Larry Peddie, was released from jail Tuesday (Jan. 3 )after posting his $500 bond.

Peddie posted bond after his scheduled first appearance, according to the county jail.

Peddie was charged with a DUI. He's accused of having a BACL of three times the legal limit while working as a security guard, according to an arrest report from FHP. Peddie is a volunteer with FHP.

His mug shot is not available because he is considered law enforcement due to the volunteer work with FHP.

His next court appear is Feb. 16.

------------------------------

Leon County, Florida - January 4, 2012 -

A member of the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary unit was arrested for DUI. Larry Peddie's membership was terminated after the arrest.

PROBABLE CAUSE
ARREST REPORT FHP99ARR041072

On Monday, January 2nd, 2012 at approximately 11:50 PM, the Florida Highway Patrol received a call from a witness Michael Alvis who was
stopped at the Interstate 10 Westbound Rest Area at Mile Marker 194. Mr. Alvis reported that the security officer at the rest area (the defendant) was acting strangely. The call notes indicate that Mr. Alvis reported that the defendant had run in to the bathroom and then fell over. He stated the defendant then went outside, sat in his car, and turned his left turn signal on. He then walked around the car, per the complainant.

Sergeant Robert Boucher initially responded to the scene. Sergeant Boucher requested Leon County EMS while en route to the rest area. I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician, and responded to the scene to see if I could assist.

Upon my arrival, I found the defendant seated in the driver's seat of the car. The door was open, and the keys were in the ignition. Sergeant Boucher was outside the vehicle talking to the defendant. I told the defendant that I was an EMT, and asked if he was ok. He stated that he felt very tired. His speech was thick tongued. I asked the defendant to step out of the car so I could check on him. While exiting the car, I noticed that he was very unsteady on his feet. I checked his pulse and respiration rate and based on his age, and thick speech asked him to perform the Cincinnati Pre-Hospital Stroke Scale, which was negative. I asked him if he had any medical issues. He stated that he had sleep apnea, took heart medication, and had a bad leg. He had his security company issued firearm on him, which was removed by Sergeant Boucher. I asked him how much he had to drink today. He stated that he had a couple of shots around 4 PM.

While speaking to the defendant, I noticed an obvious odor commonly associated with alcohol on his breath. His speech was thick tongued. His face was flush. His eyes were bloodshot. During the time, I was speaking to the defendant Sergeant Boucher walked over to us with a liquor bottle (Stravinsky Vodka) which was partially full, which he found under or near the truck used by the security guards at the rest area. At this time, I became concerned that the defendant was impaired and turned on my in-car video camera, while awaiting EMS.

Leon County EMS Med # 23 arrived on the scene. The defendant was examined and released by EMT's Buckholz and Walker (Run # 200145).

I again approached the defendant and asked him to step out of the vehicle (he was seated for the EMS exam). He asked me to help him out of the vehicle. I asked him again how much he had to drink. He stated "I don't know". I asked him about the bottle. He stated that it was almost empty when he started drinking. I asked him what time he started and what time he stopped. He stated that he started at 1 PM and stopped at 2 PM. I confronted him about the fact that he stated he had drank until 4 PM earlier, and stated he drank a couple shots, and he acknowledged the discrepancy. Based on my observations, I asked the defendant to participate in field sobriety exercises. He agreed.

The area used for the exercises was the parking area of the Interstate 10 Westbound 194 Mile Marker rest area. The area is flat, level, and free of debris. There was no inclement weather. All front facing strobe lights were off. The area was protected from traffic by my vehicle. The
defendant was wearing flat soled cowboy boots. The defendant was wearing glasses which he removed prior to the HGN exercise. I asked him again if he had any medical problems. He stated he had sleep apnea and a heart condition.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus - The defendant removed his glasses for the exercise. I placed the defendant in the starting position for the
exercise and explained the directions to him. He stated that he understood, and correctly identified the tip of my pen as the stimulus. At this time he told me that he had a "snapped broke leg". There was no visible resting nystagmus. He had equal tracking and pupil size. He had a lack of smooth pursuit in both the left and right eye. He had distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation in both the left and right eye. He had the onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees in both the left and right eye. Onset was immediate. Vertical nystagmus was present. During this exercise, I had to make additional passes as the defendant did not follow the stimulus a few times. He was swaying back and forth. He did not keep his hands to his side as directed.

Walk and Turn - I placed the defendant in the starting position for the exercise. He was unable to maintain the starting position. Based on his claim of injury to his leg and obvious inability to stay in the starting position we did not complete this exercise.

One Leg Stand - I placed the defendant in the starting position for the exercise. I explained the directions for the exercise to the defendant. He again was unable to maintain the starting position. Based on his claim of injury to his leg and obvious inability to stay in the starting position we did not complete this exercise.

Based on the defendant's claim of injury to his leg and inability to maintain the starting position during the walk and turn and one leg stand exercise, I administered the Rhomberg Balance and Finger to Nose Exercise to the defendant.

Rhomberg Balance - I placed the defendant in the starting position for the exercise. He stated that he completed the "13th grade" and knew his numbers from 1 - 30. I explained the directions for the exercise to the defendant. He stated that he understood. He estimated the passage of 30 seconds in 43 actual seconds. He stumbled once during the exercise, and had a random orbital sway about his person.

Finger to Nose - I placed the defendant in the starting position for the exercise. I explained the directions for the exercise to the defendant. He stated he understood and knew his left from his right.

L: Touched the left side of the bridge of his nose, not the tip. Did not bring his hand down.
R: Touched the bridge of his nose. Did not bring his hand down.
L: Touched the tip of his nose. Did not bring his hand down. Nearly fell over.

He stopped for quite a while at this point and we talked. I had him resume the starting position and continued.

R: I had to remind him to touch his nose. He touched his upper lip. Did not bring his hand down.
R: Touched the tip of his nose.
L: Touched his upper lip.

Based on the totality of the circumstances, I had probable cause to believe that the defendant was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on the roadways of this state while his normal faculties were impaired. I placed the defendant in handcuffs and secured him in my vehicle, and advised him that he was under arrest for DUI.

The defendant's weapon and work shirt were secured by his co-workers. His vehicle was secured at his request by the security company Captain.

The defendant was transported to the Leon County Jail. During the trip, he made several statements which indicated that he wanted to commit suicide. I later notified Sergeant Boucher, the jail Sergeant, and jail medical. He was placed on direct observation hold for mental health at the jail.

Upon arrival at the jail, I read the defendant implied consent off the department supplied sheet at 12:59 AM. He agreed to provide a breath test.

I started the 20 minute observation period at 1:02 AM. The breath test room was locked upon my arrival. After completion of the 20 minute
observation period, the defendant provided 2 sufficient samples of .240 and .242 BrAC.

At 1:32 AM, I read the defendant Miranda off the department supplied card. He stated that he understood, had not previously requested an
attorney, and declined to speak to me. The alcohol influence interview was not completed for this reason.

The defendant was turned over to the Leon County Jail.

I contacted the original complainant Michael E. Alvis by phone. He provided a statement to me which corroborated his original report in the call notes, indicating that the defendant was stumbling, had fell, and was acting suspiciously. He was unable to provide a sworn statement as he was in Alabama at the time I called.

This all occurred in Leon County, Florida.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 136676758