Former BSO Deputy On Trial For Road Rage Incident
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South Florida Crime
FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - Trial resumes Wednesday morning for a former Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who is accused in a road rage incident.
Paul Pletcher was captured on cell phone video in a confrontation with a woman he had pulled over back in 2011.
At the time, Pletcher was off-duty but driving a marked BSO patrol car.
He reportedly pulled Neyda Osario over after she allegedly had made a U turn.
Prosecutors say, after a heated exchange, Pletcher reached into her vehicle and grabbed Osorio’s cell phone and then tried to destroy it.
Plantation police recovered the phone and were able to extract the cell phone video that shows Pletcher shouting at the woman to give up the phone.
“This was a traffic stop that went beyond the call of duty,” Prosecutor Deborah Zimet told the jury.
“And he broke the law when he reached in and grabbed her neck and stole her phone,.” she said.
Her passenger Selvin Guerra testified that the two exchanged obscene gestures and that Pletcher made racial slurs.
“He told us go back to our country, stupid Latins, Guerra said through a translator.
But Pletcher’s lawyer said he was within rights as a police officer to stop Osario and says Pletcher is innocent.
“You’re going to see an absence of evidence,” defense attorney Al Milian told the jury. There is no DNA and no fingerprints. And testimony will show he did not steal that cellphone,” said Milian.
BSO fired Pletcher back in July 2012.
Osario is expected to testify Wednesday. It’s unclear if Pletcher will testify.
Pletcher faces a maximum 11 years in prison if he is convicted on all charges.