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Thursday, January 26, 2012

[FL] Police Lieutenant's ex: "I live every day in fear."

...[Sarasota Police] Lt. Steven Breakstone also could soon face a criminal stalking charge for what a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office investigator called "escalating bizarre behavior" since his divorce became final in July... "Steve's obsession has become terrifying, 'specially now that I have reported him and knowing how unpredictable he is, I live every day in fear"...  He said he is most worried about how the restraining order petition and its contents will affect his three children... "It's private matters that should have been dealt with within the family... I still love my ex-wife and I love my children, and I forgive her"...

Write SPD

SARASOTA POLICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF STALKING EX-WIFE
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
By Todd Ruger
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:41 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 9:41 a.m.

SARASOTA - A longtime Sarasota Police lieutenant has been put on administrative leave amid allegations that he is stalking his ex-wife, entering her home when she was not there and sending her numerous explicit text messages.

Lt. Steven Breakstone also could soon face a criminal stalking charge for what a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office investigator called "escalating bizarre behavior" since his divorce became final in July.

The Sarasota Police Department put Breakstone on administrative leave Saturday, two days after his ex-wife Angela filed a restraining order petition that includes what she says are nude photos of himself he sent to her.

A sheriff's office detective who investigated the matter said in a memo that he found probable cause that Breakstone had committed a misdemeanor, and said he will file the charge with the State Attorney's Office in the near future. Prosecutors would then decide if charges should be filed.

But Breakstone, who has had several contentious disciplinary battles in his 25-year career at the department, said he intends to clear his name and get back on the job after a hearing Friday where he insists the full story will come out.

He even invited the sheriff's office detective who investigated the claims, Detective Mark LeFebvre, to a hearing on the petition Friday.

"I'm going to go the hearing, and give my version of what happened, and there's been no violence," Breakstone said.

Angela Breakstone said in her petition that her fear of her ex-husband — who lives only about three houses away — has escalated since the divorce, claiming he has tracked her movement, threatened her and badgered people around her.

This is her second petition for protection; she said the first one in December 2010 was not granted because Steve Breakstone has been friends with the judge for more than 20 years. This time, two judges who were former prosecutors have recused themselves from hearing the case.

"Steve's obsession has become terrifying, specially (sic) now that I have reported him and knowing how unpredictable he is, I live everyday in fear," Angela Breakstone wrote.

Steve Breakstone, one of four shift commanders who oversee three sergeants and all patrol operations, has told sheriff's investigators that he has strong religious beliefs that are guiding him to try to reunite with his ex-wife.

He said he is most worried about how the restraining order petition and its contents will affect his three children, ages 10 to 14.

"It's private matters that should have been dealt with within the family," Steve Breakstone said. "I still love my ex-wife and I love my children, and I forgive her."

According to Angela Breakstone, her ex-husband's continued feelings for her are the root of the problem. He has appeared unannounced at her home, watering plants on her porch and bringing plates of food, according to the petition.

Just like any domestic dispute, however, there are two sides to these stories.

In her petition, Angela Breakstone submitted text messages from her ex-husband in which he asks for sex, including messages that include a photo of his genitals and him naked in the bathtub. Steve Breakstone says that is because she has invited him into her house twice to have sex.

In a Dec. 30 incident, Angela Breakstone says her daughter caught Steve Breakstone inside her home, going through drawers. He told the girl the front door had been open and he wanted to make sure a burglar was not inside.

On Jan. 14, Angela Breakstone said he came to her home uninvited and questioned her, insulting her guests in the driveway. Steve Breakstone says his son saw the guests start the whole thing.

On Jan. 15, she says he saw her driving in traffic with a male friend, so he pulled a U-turn to pull up next to her car and yell at her.

"Again, Mr. Breakstone seems to not remember that we are divorced," she wrote.

Steve Breakstone also said that it was Angela Breakstone who hit him in the face on several occasions during their 14-year marriage. "I've never raised a hand, ever," he said.

The past year at work has been problematic for Steve Breakstone, with three internal affairs investigations conducted into his behavior.

Police Chief Mikel Hollaway suspended Breakstone for three days on Jan. 17 for allegations he misused police databases to find someone who wrote a bad check to an acquaintance, an internal affairs report states.

Breakstone then visited the check writer while in uniform and encouraged him to pay to avoid criminal charges. Breakstone is appealing that suspension to the civil service board.

In April, the state attorney's office declined to file a battery charge against Breakstone after a complaint was filed against him that he slapped the face of a jogger who confronted him about his dog's behavior. [LINK]


UPDATE:

INJUNCTION FILED AGAINST SARASOTA POLICE OFFICER ACCUSED OF STALKING
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
By Todd Ruger
Friday, January 27, 2012

Sarasota police Lt. Steven Breakstone testifies in court Friday in Sarasota. A judge granted a protective injunction against Breakstone; his ex-wife accuses him of stalking her. (SNN Local News 6 photo)

SARASOTA COUNTY - A judge granted a protective injunction against a veteran Sarasota police lieutenant Friday, a ruling that threatens to end his 25-year career on the force.

At a two-hour hearing, Lt. Steven Breakstone's ex-wife showed the judge sexual text messages he sent her and testified about how his relentless pursuit of her since their July divorce has taken on overt religious overtones and caused her fear.

Angela Breakstone told the judge she even keeps a gun near her at night. "I'm afraid he'll come into my home, rape me, because I'm not responding to him," she said on the stand.

Senior Judge Nancy Donnellan found that Steven Breakstone, 47, had stalked and cyberstalked his ex-wife, even though she found no acts of physical violence and he promised the judge he would no longer bother his ex-wife.

"You have willfully harassed her, and you've been doing it for several months, despite her asking you repeatedly to stop," Donnellan told Steven Breakstone.

Breakstone, paid $94,794 annually as one of four shift commanders who oversee three sergeants and all patrol operations, shook his head in disbelief when he heard the ruling. "I may not be employed after this," he told the judge.

The problem for Steven Breakstone is that the one-year injunction prohibits him from possessing a firearm, a key tool for a law enforcement officer both on and off duty. He fears Sarasota police officials may now try to fire him for conduct unbecoming an officer.

Steven Breakstone is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the stalking allegations, including an investigation by the Sarasota Sheriff's Office in which a detective who investigated has recommended criminal charges be filed against Steven Breakstone. Prosecutors will ultimately decide if charges are warranted.

The sheriff's investigator wrote in a memo to the State Attorney's Office about Steven Breakstone's "escalating bizarre behavior" since his divorce.

Steven Breakstone is also currently appealing a three-day suspension in another internal affairs case.

After the Friday morning hearing, Angela Breakstone embraced several people who attended the hearing with her.

Steven Breakstone said he would "live a quiet life" and leave her alone.

But the lieutenant remained emphatic his ex-wife lied in the courtroom about the nature of their contact, specifically that she was not always telling him to leave him alone.

Angela Breakstone — who moved only three houses away after the split — admitted to having sex with her ex-husband since the divorce. Steven Breakstone says it happened twice.

And several of the racy text messages sent by Breakstone appear to be responses to text messages from his wife.

"I thought there was still a part of her that cared," Breakstone said after the hearing.

This is her second petition for protection; she said the first one in December 2010 was not granted because Steven Breakstone has been friends with the judge for more than 20 years. This time, two judges who were former prosecutors have recused themselves from hearing the case.

Angela Breakston's petition claims he harassed her in traffic, went into her house without her permission, appears unannounced at her home, brought her plates of food and baked her cookies.

In her petition, Angela Breakstone submitted text messages from her ex-husband in which he asks for sex, including messages that include a photo of his genitals and him naked in the bathtub.

The petition requires Steven Breakstone to stay 200 feet from her home and 50 feet from her employer. The custody and visitation schedule for their three children remains the same. [LINK]

[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal florida state politics]

1 comment:

  1. I opted to not post the photo of him that I found.

    This is potentially lethal and I'm praying.

    ReplyDelete

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