Former deputy on trial after road rage - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Former deputy on trial after road rage

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Paul Fletcher in court Paul Fletcher in court
Former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Paul Fletcher is accused of road rage after cell phone video captured by a female driver shows him getting into a confrontation with her. Former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Paul Fletcher is accused of road rage after cell phone video captured by a female driver shows him getting into a confrontation with her.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy is facing a judge after getting into a brutal confrontation with a motorist.

Former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Paul Fletcher appeared before a judge Tuesday morning. The veteran deputy pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges, including burglary, battery and criminal mischief.

He was once a respected BSO veteran, but now he stands accused of road rage after cell phone video captured by the female driver showed him getting into a confrontation with her. The footage was entered as evidence during his trial. He could be heard yelling, "Give me the phone! Now! Give me the phone!" over the muffled speaker. "Give me the phone!"

"Hey, don't talk to me like that," responded the victim.

"Give me the phone!" he repeated, reaching into the car and toward the camera lens.

"No talking to me like that."

"Give me the phone, Now!"

"Don't touch me."

"Give me the phone!"

"Wait! Wait!"

The whole time during this altercation, which occurred in May of 2011, Fletcher was off duty but driving his deputy cruiser.

The victim also had a passenger with her during the altercation. In court, Selvin Guerra said Fletcher pulled up alongside them near Broward Boulevard, near State Road 7, motioned them to pull over and even shot them the bird.

The driver returned the gesture, and that's when, they said, Fletcher became really angry. "He told us to go back to your country ... stupid Latinos."

That's when they pulled out their cell phone and began recording. Defense attorney Al Milian said, "Paul Fletcher saw somebody who was driving erratically ... Paul Fletcher took the position that when that cell phone was out and being used it could have been a concealed weapon."

Police said Fletcher grabbed this alleged concealed weapon and tried to destroy it. However, Plantation Police ended up finding it and the chip inside, which still had the recording.

Prosecutor Deborah Zimet said, "On May 23, 2011, she thought she might just be encountering a traffic stop, but a traffic stop evolved into a man, Paul Fletcher, going beyond the call of duty, abusing his power."

Fletcher's attorney argued there was never any DNA evidence or Fletcher's fingerprints found on that phone. That argument will be presented in court on Wednesday.

The victim has yet to take the stand. She is expected to testify, also on Wednesday.

Fletcher faces 11 years in prison if convicted.


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