Deputy sheriff picks up the wrong DVD

Ernesto McCloud is no longer a deputy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Ernesto McCloud is no longer a deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.


DAVENPORT — There’s likely to be a limited amount of holiday cheer for a Polk County sheriff’s deputy who is now out of a job, and the sheriff is calling his behavior “atrocious.” It all involved a DVD at a local convenience store in Davenport.
Ernesto McCloud, 28, of Lakeland, was arrested on Nov. 14 and charged with one count of petit theft and one count of armed burglary.
“McCloud resigned effective immediately upon his arrest, and would have been terminated had he not resigned,” noted Carrie E. Horstman, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the case.
Sheriff Grady Judd had much harsher words for McCloud, who had been hired as a PCSO detention deputy in August 2010 and became a deputy sheriff in May 2013. What got McCloud arrested, the sheriff’s office said, is that he tried to steal a DVD while investigating a robbery at the Davenport store.
“This behavior is atrocious and will not be tolerated by our agency,” Judd said. “We are all disgusted by his behavior and he is now in jail where he belongs. Ernesto McCloud said it best himself – he threw away a career for a $10 DVD.” The case started around 2:12 a.m. on Nov. 6, when the sheriff’s office got a call about an alarm going off at a local convenience store. PCSO deputies responded to provide assistance to the Davenport Police Department at the Mystic convenience store at 304 U.S. 17-92 in Davenport.
Horstman noted in her report that McCloud was “the first deputy sheriff to arrive as back-up to Davenport P.D. officers,” and that those officers confirmed that Mystic had just been burglarized.
As part of the investigation, Davenport Police officers got the store’s video surveillance and reviewed the footage.
That’s when the problems started for McCloud. They found more than they had expected on it, Horstman noted.
“Upon reviewing the video footage, they observed McCloud removing a DVD from the store — post-burglary –and concealing it within his uniform,” she noted.
On Friday, Davenport Police contacted them sheriff’s office to let them know what they had found. Sheriff’s detectives proceeded to interview McCloud.
“Post-Miranda, he admitted to the theft of the DVD after arriving at the store as a back-up unit,” Horstman noted.
McCloud was then arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail, and resigned from the agency.
“The agency has no reason to believe he is involved in any other crimes,” Horstman noted.

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