FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy was arrested Saturday on charges he roughed up a teen during a traffic stop then lied about it in a report.
Gerald Wengert, 33, is charged with official misconduct, falsifying records and battery.
“When we get a complaint, or there is some sign of wrongdoing, we investigate and take action if policies were violated or laws were broken,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said in a press release from BSO.
The charges against Wengert stem from an incident on December 1, 2010.
According the arrest affidavit, Deputy Wengert’s girlfriend was talking to him on the phone when she noticed a boy driving his car in reverse on Stirling Rd. east of Palm Ave.
The document indicates she followed the driver, 17-year-old Mark Visconti, to a nearby Wendy’s.
As Visconti was leaving the restaurant parking lot, the affidavit states Deputy Wengert arrived and proceeded to follow Visconti westbound on Stirling Rd.
That’s when, according to BSO, Wengert pulled Visconti over.
The affidavit says Wengert opened the door, yanked Visconti out, threw him against the car and began aggressively searching him.
Investigators say he even put Visconti in a headlock and released his K9 on him.
Visconti had to be taken to the hospital as a result of the dog bites.
Wengert is suspended without pay while his own department investigates him.
“It bothers me that we have nearly 6,000 dedicated employees doing the right thing every day and people hear more about the mistakes and misdeeds of a few,” Sheriff Lamberti said. “But regardless of the effect, we are not going to sweep anything under the rug.”
Wengert is also known for his role on TLC’s reality show, “Unleashed: K9 Broward County”.