Largo Police fired officer Brian Livernois on Tuesday for putting his hands around a teen’s neck during an incident that happened back in April and was caught on cell phone video, according to internal affairs report. (Courtesy Ann Arnold)
Largo Police Officer FiredLARGO, Fla. — Largo Police fired officer Brian Livernois on Tuesday for putting his hands around a teen’s neck during an incident that happened back in April and was caught on cell phone video, according to internal affairs report.
"I think more should've been done besides him firing,” she said. “I feel like he should've been charged because if my son would've hit him, he (Tullis) would've got charged with a battery."
According to internal affairs, the incident began on April 4, at 4:50 p.m., on Melody Lane when officer Livernois was checking out a call from an unidentified couple who said they were threatened by a group of juveniles. The couple told dispatch that a black male wearing a white shirt stated that he was going to shoot someone.
As Livernois drove down the road he spotted Tullis who matched the description of the suspect. Tullis was also was walking with a group of other teens. The officer activated his lights and stepped out of his cruiser to make contact.
On the video, officer Livernois can be heard telling Tullis to put out a cigar that he was smoking. Livernois told investigators he started talking tough with Tullis because he believed the teen wanted to fight him.
"What you want to buck up on me, dude?” said Livernois to Tullis on the video. "Do you got a problem with me?"
"Do you have a problem with me?” asked Tullis.
That’s when the officer can be seen grabbing the teen by his shoulders and shoving him towards the police cruiser. Tullis’ friends can be heard telling the teen not to resist. Livernois then puts his hands around Tullis’ neck for a few seconds before another man tries to pull the officer away.
Livernois told internal affairs that he was using a mandibular jaw pressure point technique and admitted that it’s not authorized in the Largo Police use of force policy, except in cases where aggravated physical resistance is encountered.
Largo Police Chief Brian Undestad found that officer Livernois violated two policies. The first violation was for bullying, discourtesy or rudeness and using profane language, which carried a 5 day suspension. The second violation was for conducting a prohibited choke hold or neck restraint, which Livernois was terminated for.
"We take great pride in the positive relationship the Largo Police Department has with our community,” said Chief Undestad. “Actions like this are not acceptable and violate the public's trust, which every employee has worked so hard to earn. This situation warranted the former officer's termination."
Livernois worked for the Largo Police Department for about 7 years. Arnold said because of the incident she has sent her son to live out of state with his dad.
“I was in tears because it's like now my son is in fear after this incident,” she said. “Everywhere he goes, he's looking behind his shoulder to see if the police are going to harass him."
Arnold said Tullis was arrested in April for obstruction and they’re still fighting that charge in court.
After Being Accused Of Roughing Up Teen
By FOX 13 News staff
Posted Jun 12 2019 08:19PM EDT
Updated Jun 12 2019 11:30PM EDT
CLEARWATER, Fla. (FOX 13) – The owner of Chick-fil-A in Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater, Florida has been charged with molesting a teen girl, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives arrested and charged Heather Matuszek, 32, of Dunedin, with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. They say Matuszek has admitted to two occasions of the alleged abuse, which the victim said happened in 2014 when Matuszek was a youth leader at Clearwater Community Church. The incidents happened outside of the church setting, investigators said, adding contact between leaders and youths outside of the church is not uncommon. According to her victim, who was 15 years old at the time, Matuszek, then 28, slept in the victim’s bed two separate nights.
The victim reported Matuszek kissed her face and rubbed her arms, body, and breast area, over her clothing. The victim also said there were other incidents involving Matuszek outside of Pinellas County, which the sheriff’s office said are being investigated by the relevant agencies. Detectives say Matuszek no longer attends Clearwater Community Church, however, there may be other victims who go to the church. The sheriff’s office asked anyone with information to call Detective Ghosio of the Crimes Against Children Unit at 727-582-6006.
Chick-fil-A issued a statement Wednesday evening, saying, “This is deeply disturbing news. No one should ever be subjected to this sort of abuse and we are shocked and saddened by the report. Law enforcement has jurisdiction over this matter and we are awaiting full facts to inform our actions. Chick-fil-A, Inc. is sending company representatives to the location for restaurant support.”
A 2016 post on the Facebook page for Chick-fil-A Westfield Countryside Mall welcomed Matuszek as its new owner/operator, saying, at the time, she worked for the company for six years. The post said she was an interim manager and traveled across the country, helping with the operation of multiple restaurants.
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GULFPORT, Fla. — The Gulfport Senior Center Foundation announced last week that it would discontinue its popular "Gulfport GETGO" ride service as of May 30.
It's been eight years since Betty Duffey was legally declared blind in one eye.
“I went through a little depression when I realized I couldn’t drive anymore,” said Duffey.
But the Gulfport GETGO van offered her the independence she would have otherwise lost.
“It’s easy to get anywhere in Gulfport, like Walgreens or the grocery store, and they drop you off and come get you,” said Duffey.
Betty is one of hundreds of Gulfport residents and visitors who have taken advantage of the GETGO vans.
So when she came across a Facebook post announcing the program will not be operating for the foreseeable future, she couldn't believe it.
“I was shocked," she told us. "I was like freaking out, devastated."
According to Bob Newcomb, who serves on the board of directors for the Gulfport Senior Center Foundation, the decision did not come easily.But with vehicles needing major repairs, he says funding the program was eating up too many resources.
“It came with challenges that were particular to us," Newcomb explained. "Our primary goal and objective is to promote the senior center itself, and it was beginning to take away from that mission."
But he says they are going to do everything they can to save the program.
“We’re going to try to find a way that we can transfer the assets of the GETGO to another organization who can ... make it a primary goal, other than a secondary goal, for their business,” said Newcomb.
Duffey says she speaks for everyone when she says she would like to see that happen.
“There’s got to be a way," she said. "It improves everybody’s life, they enjoy it."
Newcomb also says the board is looking for a way to pay back any business owners who prepaid for advertisements on the GETGO vehicles.
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