A Broward County Sheriff who threatened to feed a Florida resident to an alligator has received a written reprimand and has returned to work. Deputy Alan Dubinski has been employed with the BSO for 22 years.
Deputy Dubinski’s patrol car is outfitted with equipment that can record audio and video. The equipment captured Dubinski threatening a resident during a routine traffic stop.
In July of last year the Dubinski received a report that a vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic. By the time he arrived at the scene, the suspect was being questioned by the Florida Highway Patrol, who planned to release him go with a warning.
As reported by the Sun Sentinel, Deputy Dubinski exited his patrol car and began screaming threats and profanities at the suspect. The recorded video reveals that Dubinski told the suspect, Jessie Merchant, that he was “going home” or he was going to beat him up, split his skull with his flashlight, and feed him to the alligators.
Resident Jessie Merchant was reportedly frightened, but was not physically harmed by the deputy. The tirade reportedly lasted nearly 11 minutes before the suspect was allowed to leave the scene.
Florida State Trooper Lawrence Petraglia was on scene and observed Dubinski threatening to feed Merchant to an alligator. The trooper reported Dubinski’s behavior as “excessive.” Troopers present during the incident describe Merchant’s behavior as “submissive and cooperative.”
As reported by CBS 4, Deputy Dubinski defended his actions. The deputy is familiar with Merchant and states that while the public may view his behavior as unprofessional, in this situation it was necessary:
” … every situation is different, sometimes you have to be harsh with some people to get your point across to them that they understand and this is the way that Jessie understands and the problem was solved.”
At the conclusion of an internal investigation, Deputy Dubinski was given a written reprimand and returned to full duty. The investigation found that threatening to feed a resident to an alligator is considered “conduct unbecoming an employee.”
In his 22 year career, Dubinski has been investigated for misconduct 20 times and has been disciplined on eight different occasions.