Sheriff Donald F Eslinger
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Seminole County Deputy Sheriff

Commits ARMED Trespassing

In a small community like Geneva located in the northeast corner of Seminole County Florida you come across the funniest things. And such was the case on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. While driving down CR 426 just south of CR 46, one could not help but notice the rear end of a brand new Seminole County Deputy Sheriff’s Marked Ford Explorer, sticking up in the air with the front of the vehicle well into a hole in the ground.(1 photos, 2 videos) Armed Trespassing

Thankfully the driver of the vehicle Deputy Futch was not injured and it appeared as if there was no damage to the vehicle. Deputy Futch advised that she was on patrol and observed a male inside of the roped off property located on the west side of the roadway. In order to make contact with the male Deputy Futch decided to drive around the roped off driveway and found herself and her vehicle in a hole in the ground.

While we all agreed that this was a funny sight and truly Deputy Futch appeared rather embarrassed, there was a problem. In this Country we hire a Sheriff who in turn hires Deputy Sheriff’s in order to protect the Citizens of the County and to protect our rights. But in this case one of our most sacred rights was violated. (3, 4, 5) You see our law enforcement officers are not permitted to enter into our property unless certain things happen.

A Citizen may grant permission for the Deputy to enter the property. A Deputy seeing that a crime is in progress may enter the property or the Deputy may even enter the property having obtained a search warrant from a Judge. There are other exigent circumstances which would permit an armed Deputy to enter a Citizens property; however, the presence of a male in day light not doing anything other than walking is not a crime in Seminole County and as such does not authorize a Deputy to attempt to drive around a roped off posted driveway to enter the property. (6)

Even more disturbing is the statement made by Deputy Futch that she should have just removed the rope and then driven up the private dirt road into the property. So just for a minute let us take the position that Deputy Futch was truly concerned that this unknown male was not the property owner, which in fact he was the property owner. (6) And that she wanted to know who this male was. What could Deputy Futch have done other than commit the criminal offense of Armed Trespass?(7) Could Deputy Futch not have used the new Public Address system on the vehicle to summon the male over to her location? Sounds like a logical thing to me to do. And let us continue with this thinking and let us say that the male decides that he just does not want to stop what he is doing and continues to walk on his private property. Armed Trespassing

Does this act constitute a crime? Do we as Citizens have to talk to anyone? Within our Rights is the right not to talk. But this did not happen. Deputy Futch decided to enter this roped off posted property while armed with a firearm. We will never know what could have happened since Deputy Futch drove right into a huge eight foot by four foot hole in the ground.

On Thursday, February 14, 2013, a public records request resulted in obtaining a copy of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office “Event Report” number 20130441972.(8) Upon examining the report new information was obtained. As previously reported Deputy Futch had advised that she had observed a male walking on the property. However, in reading the Event Report it advised that:

“EMPTY LOT BETWEEN SNOWHILL AND 46 ON 426 VEH JUST WENT ON UNPOSTED PROPERTY GRN SUV W/ AT LEAST 2”

Further information revealed that Deputy Victoria Futch (Radio ID P4811) was dispatched (DIS), enroute (ENR) and arrived (ARV) on the scene at 15:31:52 hours, (3:31 p.m.) Now either Deputy Futch was called to the location or she initiated the call herself. It is believed from her own testimony that she drove up on the location and was not dispatched. But in all fairness we are unable to resolve this issue at this time. SCSO has failed to provide an explanation on this even after our request for their help. (9)

The next conflicting fact concerns the notation of a green sport utility vehicle (GRN SUV) and at least two individuals. And the third conflicting fact concerns the term "UNPOSTED PROPERTY". Examination of the scene revealed three posts positioned across the dirt road access driveway in which a rope was affixed to the top of each post causing a barrier to vehicles. Draped between two of these posts suspended by the rope was a sign which displayed the word "POSTED" and a warning. (10) It should be noted that there is no further mention of the SUV or the two people in the Event Report Armed Trespassing

For those new to Seminole County Florida you might not have heard about an incident in which two Seminole County Deputy Sheriff’s committed Armed Trespass which resulted in the homeowner being shot four times by the Deputies. The homeowner survived and we the taxpayers of Seminole County ended up paying $300,000.00 for destroying the evidence and settled for another $3,200,000.00 with the victim. (11)

Thankfully our Geneva resident was not shot and the only thing lost was our sense of security within our property. It is becoming too common for those who we have granted permission to carry firearms to violate the Rights of the Citizens who they have sworn an oath to protect. (12)

SeminoleWatch.com will not even bother to file a complaint in this case. Why should we, after all if past performance is any measure of future incidents then these crimes would be changed from Armed Trespass to maybe conduct unbecoming. After all Sgt. Bates and Deputy Rios’s crimes were changed to issuing an unlawful order and obeying an unlawful order from that of perjury in an official proceedings. (13,14)

So imagine for a moment that you live in rural Seminole County Florida. Your property is 5 acres or larger and one day you happen to be walking in your front yard or maybe you are driving on your property. You are not doing anything illegal, no one has called the Sheriff’s Department to report a suspicious person or a reckless vehicle . You have not called for help and out of the blue you see a marked Sheriff’s Department vehicle attempting to drive around your roped off posted driveway.

We live in the United States of America and not a communist country, it really is not FUNNY.

CLICK ON BELOW EXHIBITS:

  1. Photo 1
    1. Photo 2
    2. Photo 3
    3. Photo 4
    4. Photo 5
  2. Video 1 127MB
    1. Video 2 32MB
    2. Video 3 37MB
  3. United States Constitution Article 4
  4. Florida Constitution Article 1, Section 12, Searches and Seizures
  5. Florida Constitution Article 1, Section 23 ,Right of Privacy
  6. Legal Guidelines pages LG-15
  7. Florida State Statute 810.09
  8. SCSO Event Report 20130441972
  9. Correspondence to/from SCSO Records Supervisor Christy Peters
  10. POSTED - Video 218MB
  11. Swofford vs. Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
  12. Florida State Statute 30.07
  13. Internal Investigation Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
  14. Memorandum from Sheriff Eslinger

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
-Edmund Burke