OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Two of the four St. Cloud police officers who were disciplined but not charged after a bar fight did not report the brawl in a timely fashion, according to police documents.
“You failed to report the crime immediately and you did not render aid,” according to Capt. Kirk Zilke in a discipline memo obtained by Channel 9. “By leaving the scene, this brought discredit to the department and the city with the inappropriate behavior of all employees involved.”
That memo was sent to Lt. Denise Roberts, who received an eight-hour suspension. Officer Ron Dieterle was given a written reprimand. Police records show Dieterle and Roberts were present for the fight at the Firewater Lounge in St. Cloud on April 27, but did not throw any punches.
Two other officers – Casey Lawson and Garrett Stockdill – face misdemeanor battery charges. The group of off-duty officers was seen walking into the bar about a minute before the fight started.
Police records say that, after exchanging words with a patron, Robert Ottoson approached Lawson and Stockdille and held out his hand. Lawson shoved him, Ottoson kicked Stockdill and the fight escalated, investigators said.
Cellphone audio appears to suggest Roberts tried to break up the fight.
In her statement to investigators, Roberts said the officers left because bar employees told them to leave and that no one wanted to press charges. Roberts also said they feared for their safety.
Roberts is appealing her discipline.
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