Deputy fired after failing to charge shoplifter and inappropriately interaction Walmart employee

Officer reports incident as trespassing after suspect bolts from scene without any goods

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Wednesday 11 August 2021 17:32

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A deputy with the sheriff’s office in Charlotte County in southwestern Florida has been fired after he failed to properly report an attempted theft at a Walmart store and treated the female employee who reported the suspect inappropriately.

Deputy William Vaughn responded to the Walmart in Englewood on 18 May following reports that someone was trying to steal an air mattress, NBC 2 News reported.

The suspect bolted from the scene without the item and Mr Vaughn reported the incident as trespassing and not an attempted theft.

The Walmart worker contacted a sheriff’s office supervisor because she thought a criminal offence had occurred. She told the supervisor that she thought Mr Vaughn had been misrepresenting her account of what had happened every time she pushed for the suspect to be prosecuted, which is in accordance with Walmart guidelines, the outlet reported.

The employee encountered Mr Vaughn at the store on a separate occasion when she wasn’t working. The deputy was wearing his uniform and offered to walk her to her car, putting his hand on her lower back.

The employee said Mr Vaughn made her uncomfortable when he had hugged her and said: “Oh, I almost kissed you. I cannot do that, I’m in uniform and could lose my job.”

He also commented on her mot wearing a wedding ring, according to the employee.

The deputy said it was not his intention to make the employee uncomfortable and apologised, WWSB reported.

After first putting Mr Vaughn on administrative leave with pay, Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell fired Mr Vaughn last month.

The Independent has reached out to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

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