Longboat Key Police Officer Pati Beardsley was terminated Thursday, Oct. 15 by Police Chief Al Hogle after his department completed an internal investigation of her Sept. 16 arrest, in which she waved her department-issued handgun at a motorist that pulled into the driveway of her Sarasota home.
Beardsley’s termination was expedited after she refused to be questioned by Hogle regarding the charges or be interrogated at a planned pre-disciplinary hearing.
Hogle’s decision comes eight days after Beardsley was charged by the State Attorney’s Office of the 12th Judicial Circuit for aggravated assault with a firearm.
Wrote Hogle in his memo to Beardsley dated Oct. 15: “I have decided to terminate your employment with the Town of Longboat Key effective Sept. 17, 2009, based on your conduct. Additionally, based on your disobedience to my direct order to appear before me to be interrogated about the charges against you, you have also violated the town’s personnel rules and regulations.”
According to a Sarasota County police report, a woman pulled into Beardsley’s driveway at approximately 3 p.m. Sept. 16 to turn around after picking up her two children and another child at nearby Southside Elementary School.
As soon as the woman pulled into the driveway, Beardsley came out of her home, holding her gun at her hip and approached the white Chevrolet Suburban’s passenger door.
According to the woman driving the vehicle, Beardsley, 50, approached the vehicle and pointed the gun at the passenger-side window while cursing, causing one of the children in the car to jump in the backseat and lay on the car’s floorboard.
A man and his daughter who were also leaving the school observed Beardsley holding a gun as she approached the woman’s car.
Officers who responded to the area interviewed Beardsley, who claimed she had approached the vehicle while cursing and pointing her cell phone at the passengers.
Beardsley did confirm she had a black Glock handgun inside her home, and she allowed police to observe it.
Beardsley, a police officer for the town for more than eight years, was placed on administrative leave with pay the day after the incident occurred.
After a 10-day appeal process passes, Hogle said the vacant police-officer position will be filled as soon as possible.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.
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