FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A rookie Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy bonded out of jail overnight after being arrested for fondling and trying to extort a security guard.
The now former deputy, 20-year-old Trazell McLeod, covered his face with a sweatshirt as he was released on bond early Friday morning.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s Internal Affairs and Public Corruption Units arrested McLeod, who has been on the job for less than a year, Thursday afternoon.
McLeod, who kicked off his career as a police explorer before becoming a deputy, was arrested by his colleagues. He is accused of encountering a 34-year-old man, demanding sexual favors and committing extortion.
Investigators said McLeod was patrolling near the Ali Cultural Arts building in Pompano Beach, Oct. 16, when he encountered a security guard, asked him some questions and told him he needed to be frisked. It happened in the back of the building, under a security camera.
According to the arrest affidavit, “McLeod frisked [victim] … In doing so, [victim] stated that McLeod grabbed his ‘private area’ and stated, ‘You’re gonna have to give me this.’ [Victim] replied, ‘What do you mean I’m gonna have to give you this?’ McLeod responded, ‘You’ll see.'”
After that encounter and the conversation described by the victim, McLeod allegedly fondled the victim and then told him he would need to engage in increased sexual activity.
The affidavit stated, “(Victim) informed deputy McLeod that he was armed and possessed a concealed weapons permit… McLeod continued the search and informed (victim) that he found narcotics on him.”
The security guard denied having drugs on him and, according to the affidavit, “(Victim) was never placed in handcuffs, informed he was under arrest, nor did McLeod advise dispatch on the radio of the incident.”
The affidavit went on to say the “Victim reaffirmed his innocence… McLeod reportedly stated, ‘You’re going to have to (expletive) me, I’m not only talking about one time, on a consistent basis.'”
The deputy reportedly went to get something out of his vehicle, and the guard took off, ran across Hammondville Road and into some bushes. He called his wife, who picked him, and he went to the police.
Now, McLeod has been fired. According to BSO, McLeod was arrested at 12:05 p.m. at the department’s Central Broward district office and will be facing charges of extortion, official misconduct and tampering with evidence.
Israel released a statement saying: “It’s always disappointing to learn that a deputy who swore to serve and protect the public was only out to serve himself. I am extremely proud of the swift actions of our Internal Affairs and Public Corruption Units. Within four days of receiving the complaint, they investigated, conducted surveillance and brought forth evidence to support the immediate termination of this rookie deputy.”
Because McLeod was so new to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, he was still on probation. The department, however, was able to fire him without any further investigation.
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