WUFT News

Sheriff Darnell responds to dashboard video of Mayor Lowe’s arrest

By on April 3rd, 2013


Sanika Dange reported for WUFT-TV.

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell said Wednesday Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe was not given preferential treatment by deputies on March 21 after the single-car crash that led to Lowe’s arrest for driving under the influence.

Dashboard camera video released by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday raised those concerns, particularly due to a conversation between deputy Jessica Rowland and Lowe.

In the video, Rowland can be heard telling Lowe, “I can tell by your eyes that you’ve had a lot more than three beers.” She continues, “We can go a whole other route with that, but because of the job you have, we’re not going to.”

Darnell said during a press conference she had spoken to Rowland about the exchange.

“In my talking to her, her intention, as best she could recollect, and it’s been a couple of days now, several days now, was that she wasn’t sure what she meant by that when she said it, but she knew that it wasn’t to give him any special treatment,” Darnell said.

Darnell said she wasn’t sure where Rowland was going with her statement about taking an “other route.”

“I’m not sure why she said it or had the need to say it, but she did say it and in her mind she doesn’t know why she said it either,” Darnell said. “She certainly knew that she was going down a DUI crash investigation, she just wasn’t sure if it was going to be ASO (Alachua Sheriff’s Office) or FHP (Florida Highway Patrol).”

Darnell said the video doesn’t show deputies “scheming,” but instead shows them moving forward with a DUI and crash investigation.

“It may have been a slip of the tongue, it may have been in her mind she was intending for it to mean something else, but when you hear it, and most people hear it, it does sound questionable,” Darnell said. “I completely understand that, but their actions speak louder than what she said.”

When asked about the four hours it took for officials to administer a blood alcohol test to Lowe, Darnell said she wished the deputies had moved more quickly.

“They didn’t act, in my mind, looking back, quickly enough to notify their supervisor or to get FHP rolling so that there wasn’t as large a (gap of time),” Darnell said. “I wish it were smaller.”

Darnell said Rowland and deputy Lance Pallett, the two who responded to the crash, would sit down with their supervisor and discuss what they did well and what they could improve on in future cases.

Branden Snodgrass contributed reporting.


This entry was posted in Crime and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Crime

ufpd

Police Collecting DNA Samples in Relation to Recent Attacks

The University of Florida Police Department and the Gainesville Police Department are targeting individuals for DNA samples that vaguely fit the suspect’s description from the three attacks that occurred on or near UF’s campus.


Elementary-age children attend the vigil held for their classmates Sunday night. Sarah Spirit and her six children were victims of a mass shooting last Thursday, Sept. 18.

Bell Residents Hold Vigil In Honor Of Slain Family

In the small town of Bell, family and friends gathered at a candlelight vigil to honor the lives of Sarah Spirit, 28, and her six children. Police said last Thursday, Don Spirit shot and killed his daughter and six grandchildren before turning the gun on himself.


Bell, Fla., residents light candles in support of the slain family. Friends, family and members of the community stand in silence while paying respects.

Pictures: Bell Residents Hold Vigil In Memory Of Slain Family


Gov. Rick Scott addressing media in Bell, Fla.

Bell Residents Express Sadness, Shock in Wake of Shooting

Bell residents wake up to tragedy in wake of shooting. Don Spirit, 51, killed his daughter, six grandchildren and himself on Thursday around 4 p.m.


Don Charles Spirit, 51, shot and killed his daughter and her six children. He then committed suicide.

Bell Shooter Don Spirit: An Extensive Criminal History

Before Don Spirit shot and killed his daughter, six children and himself on Sept. 18, he acquired an extensive criminal background. Spirit’s prior crimes occurred in several counties in Florida.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments