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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the Broward County Sheriff's Deputy James Engle. He gets the award for the following.

Afraid to fall asleep at the wheel, Deborah McCarthy pulled into a church parking lot in Deerfield Beach about 2:30 a.m. and called her husband to tell him she was taking a catnap before heading home to Boca Raton.

Her decision would lead to a terrifying overnight stay in jail in a case of mistaken identity, as revealed in a recent Broward Sheriff's Office investigation.

At 3 a.m. June 16, Deputy James Engle saw a red Ford Explorer in the parking lot of the Zion Lutheran Church. He radioed in the license tag to dispatch.

McCarthy, 41, woke to flashing lights. Engle asked for her driver's license.

Within an hour, McCarthy was under arrest for a crime she didn't commit -- writing a bad check 10 years ago in Pinellas County. McCarthy happens to share the name of the woman who did write a bad check.

When Engle radioed in McCarthy's driver's license, the dispatcher told him there was a warrant for her arrest. Neither the deputy nor the dispatcher noticed the details -- different birthdays and middle initials -- that might have prevented the mistake, according to a recent investigation into the incident by the Sheriff's Office Division of Internal Affairs.

McCarthy went to jail and was not released until 1:30 p.m. that day when her husband posted bond of $513. The couple have since recovered the bond money.

"That was the worst night of my life," McCarthy said. "I've never been arrested before. I just know what happened to me is wrong. It's an abuse of power."

Engle told the Internal Affairs investigator that he hadn't noticed the differences in middle initial and date of birth, and that the dispatcher never pointed it out.

"I just took it for granted [that it was the same person]," he told Sgt. Jennifer Zinglo, who handled the investigation.
For granted? What you did was pure carelessness and stupidity Deputy Engle. If you had taken a few more minutes someone wouldn't have been arrested for a crime they didn't commit. The birthday, height and middle initial were three red flags there for you to see and you saw none of them!

To top this stupidity off, Ms. McCarthy still has an arrest record. Only a judge through a court order can expunge a false arrest from a man or woman's record. So Ms. McCarthy is being screwed still by Engle's incompetence. Trust me, law enforcement stupidty and power trips go on all the time. One night in 2004 I tried to wave down a PB County sheriff to get assistance and instead almost got arrested. There are plenty of men and women who in uniform think they got powers from the almighty. James Engle is just the latest example.

If the decision was up to me, this law enforcement idiot would be out looking for a new job, instead Broward County Sheriff's Deputy James Engle is today's Knucklehead of the day.

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