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Date: December 31, 2018

To: Diane .H~bleY-Burn


. . ey, Chief Of~olice ~ Restricted

From: Robert Ridle, Actmg Deputy Chief


Community Policing Bureau - ])istrict

Subject: Internal Affairs Case: S2018-0008

SYNOPSIS

The complaint alleges that on July 14, 2018, Officer Doug McNeal brought two arrestees into the
St. Lucie COWlty Jail sally port. The arrestees, a male and female, were seated in the rear of
McNeal's patrol car. The male was not handcuffed and the female was handcuffed in front. The
two alTestees were observed smoking a cigarette and "making out" in the rear of the patrol car by
St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office jail personnel.

SUMMARY

On July 14,2018, at 11:32 AM, Officer Doug McNeal notified dispatch that he was at Walrnart,
5100 Okeechobee Road, and was given third party information about an assault to a female. The
female was allegedly in a bathroom and told another person her husband beat her up. McNeal
made contact with the female in front of the store. She appeared calm and had older bruising to
her left eye and bruising around her mouth. The female, later identified as Christa Leigh, told
McNeal that she was fine and did not need him. Though initially McNeal did not ask about her
injuries, he later learned she sustained them in Brevard COMly in a fight involving another
female. McNeal cleared the call at Ii :36 AM and remained at Walmart where he relocated to the
loss prevention office and began watching surveillance cameras with Walmart personnel.

At 11 :46 AM, McNeal notified dispatch that he was at Walmart with a theft in progress,
involving the above female and a male on crutches, who the police had responded for the
previous day. McNeal did not activate his body woi·n camera (BWC). Walmart I()ss prevention
personnel identified the male as the same male Officer Kevin Mohammed had issued a trespass
waming to the previous day. McNeal made contact via phone with Officer Mohammed, who
confilmed he had issued a trespass warning to the male, Zachery Moellendick. Per Mohamed, he
told McNeal to atTest MoeUendick and McNeal stated he was going to continue to observe
Moellendick to see if4e would steal anything.

At I :22 PM, one hour and twenty-six minutes after McNeal checked out at Walrnart, he activated
his BWC inside the loss prevention office. Sergeant Dave Cuti was in the loss prevention office
at this time eating IW1Ch. Serge?nt Cuti was working on shift and <lssigned to District 1. McNeal
then proceeded outside Walmart with loss personnel and escorted Leigh and Moellendick back to
the loss prevention office. McNeal recovered stolen items from Moeliendick lind Leigh to
include a baby toy from Moellendick and jewelry from both. A pack of cigarettes and a lighter

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were taken from Leigh. McNeal searched Moellendick including removing his hat. McNeal
removed a lighter from Moellendick. McNeal handcuffed Leigh behind her back and walked her
outside to his patrol car. Moellendick was left in the custody of Sergeant Cuti..Officer Tasha
Suhling conducted a search of Leigh and did not find anything. McNeal moved Leigh's
handcuffs trom the reat to front to allow her to smoke a cigarette while standing outside the
patrol cat. Leigh remained with Officer Suhling. McNeal then went b.llck into Walmart and
re.turned with MoeUendick, who was not h!l!ldcuffed and using crutches to walk. McNeal
allowed Moellendick to smoke a cigarette and handed him a lighter to light the cigarette. McNeal
stated to Suhling that Moellendick was not going to be handcuffed due to him using crutches to
walk. Both subjects were placed in the reai' of McNeal's patrol car. Neither were re$trained with
a seat belt. Leigh's hands remained handcuffed in front of her. Moellendick remained 1)11-
handcuffed. McNeal did not seek approval from a supervisor to transport a prisoner who was not
handcuffed.

McNeal began driving to the jail and notified dispatch of his destination and starting mileage.
McNeal's Ewe was placed in a rear facing position and left in recording mode. During the ride
to the jail, Leigh and Moellendick can be seen holding each other, cuddlirig, and kissing. McNeal
anived at the Saint Lucie County Jail and did not notifY dispatch of his arrival nor ending
mileage. Moellendick and Leigh continued to hoid each other and kiss while the vehicle was
parked in the jail's sally port. This occlmed while McNeal was seated in the driver's seat and
completing his paperwork. At 2: 10 PM, Leigh asks to smoke. McNeal tells her to "make it fast"
and asks, "Do you still have the lighter?" Moellendick then locates the lighter he used outside of
Wa1mart in his pants. Leigh asks to get out of the car and smoke. McNeal replies, "No,just
smoke in the car. They won't let you smoke in the sally port." Leigh and Moellendick then
smoke II cigarette in the rear of the patrol C!ll'. The cigarette had been tucked behind
Moellendick's ear. Two Saint Lucie County Deputies appear behind the patrol car and appear to
take notice of the activity. At 2:25 PM, due to Leigh and Moellendick's body posture and arm
movements, it is apparent Moellendick and Leigh ate sexually pleasuring each other with their
hands. This continues for approximately six minutes. During Detective Eason's interviews with
Leigh and Moellehdick, Leigh stated Moellendick "fingered" her while she gave him a "hand
job". Moellendick stated he "got her off and she got me off." During Detective Eason's interview
with McNeal, when asked about Leigh and Moellehdick's kissing and cuddling while in
transport to the jail and when parked in the jail sally port, McNeal stated he saw the activity and
"was fme with it." He denied seeing any sexual activity. All the actively was captnred by
McNeal's BWC which was positioned below his rear view milTOr.

Jail personnel removed Moellendick from the patrol car at 3:03 PM and removed Leigh at 3:07
PM. However, it was determined by jail personnel that both needed medical clearance. Both
were placed back into McNeal's patrol car at .3:20 PM. At 3:23 PM, McNeal begins driving away
iiom the sally port and tells dispatch that he has arrived at the jail and his ending mileage, along
with that he is now enroute to Lawnwood Hospital and the same beginning mileage. Mocllendick
was not handcuffed and Leigh remained handcuffed in the front. Neither were restrained with a
seat belt. For most of the tide to Lawnwood, Moellendick lies on .his back, partially in Leigh's
lap.

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McNeal arrived at Lawnwood at 3:33 PM and did not advise dispatch of his arrival or ending
mileage. He walked Leigh and Moellendick to the triage desk and explained both needed
medical clearance. Leigh and Moellendick were escorted back to an exam room where McNeal
left both prisoners under the watch of an unartned security guard without any exigent
circumstances. According to McNeal, he left them for "ten or fifteen minutes." The BWC was
turned off while medical clearance waS obtained and turned back on When they were leaving the
hospital. Moellendick remained un-handcuffed and Leigh handcuffed in front. At 4:23 PM,
McNeal advised dispatch of his destination and starting mileage. Neither subject was restrained
by a seatbel!.

McNeal placed his BWC in a rear facing direction while transporting MoeUendick and Leigh
from Lawnwood Hospital back to the St. Lucie County Jail. For the duration of the trip,
Moellendick and Leigh continued to kiss and hold each other. McNeal alTived at the jail at 4:34
PM and did not advise dispatch of his arrival or ending mileage.

DISPOSITION
I reviewed the original complaint, along with Incident Reports, Event Reports, 'Body Worn
Camera video, recorded interviews, and Detective Gary Eason's investigation. I find the details
ofBWC video and interviews support the complaint.

Based on the above, I find that Officer Doug McNeal VIOLATED the following policies:

Code of Conduct - 26.100:


D. Failure to Follow Policy
1. Employees will not commit any acts or make any omissions, which constitute a
violation of any of the rules, policies, procedures, or other directives of the FPPD or
the City of Fort Pierce.

H. Conduct Unbecoming
1. Employees will conduct themselves at all times, both on and off duty, in a manner
which is in keeping with the highest standards of the law enforcement profession.
2. Conduct 1mbecoming an officer will include ihat which brings the FPPD into
disrepilte, reflects unfavorably upon the officer as a member of the FPPD, damages
or affects the reputation of any member of the FPPD, or impairs the operation of
efficiency of the FPPD or it's personnel.

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L. Neglect of Duty

9. Department personnel shall not willfully ignore or violate official directives,


policies, procedures, orders or supervisory instructions or knowingly fail to
properly execute the duties and responsibilities of their assigned position.

Body Worn Camera - 83.130


E. Body Worn Camera Procedures:

1. Officers will make every effort to place the BWC in the "Record Mode" as soon as
practicable when involved in an Official Law Enforcement Matter. Officers who fail to
activate the BWC when involved in an Official Law Enforcement Matter are required to
immediately notify their immediate supervisor and explain the reason for the non-
activation. Additionally, the Officer will document the incident and reason for non-
activation via memorandum to the shift commander by the end of the Officer's shift. A
copy shall be sent to the Office of Professional Standards.

Physical Colltrols -01.308:

D. Authorized Restraint Devicesffechuiques:


1. Officers may refrain from the use of restraint devices when in the opinion of the officer,
with the approval by a supervisor, the age, disability, or physical capacity of the
arrestee justifies minimal security measures.

Prisonermetainee Transport -71.100:

D. Prisonermetainee Transport Operations:

2. Anytime an officer makes an arrest, transports a prisoner/detainee, the officer shall


search tbe prisoner/detainee thoroughly and carefully and shall immediately take
possession of all weapons, contraband and items of evidence discovered during the
course oftha! search [CFA 29.02J.
8. To reduce the opportunity for escape or attack on an officer, the arresting, transporting
or detaining officer shall cause prisoner/detainees to be under constant observation at
all times.
12. All prisoner/detainees being transported in departmental vehicles must wear seatbelts.
[CFA29.07].
22. Whenever a prisoner/detainee is transported or admitted to a medical care facility for
examination or treatment, the prisoner/detainee shall remain handcuffed at all times
unless the removal of handcuffs is necessary.for medical examination or treatment
[CFA 29.05].

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24. Prisoner/detainees who are in custody and are being examined, receiving treatment or
admitted at a medical facility shall be kept in sight by the officer at all times unless
exigent circumstances exist [CFA 29.05].

E. Special Transport Situation.s;


1. When transporting a member of the opposite sex, officers shall advise their starting
location and fiill mileage aIid ending location and mileage [CFA 29.01 a].

F. Restraining Devices:
1. It is necessary for officers to know when and how prisoner/detainees are to be
restrained and when, where and how particular restraining devices are to be
employed, including special and prohibited methods.
a. Persons suspected of, or charged with, criminal violations will be handcuffed for
transport except if the prisoner/detainee is injured and handcuffing will
aggravate the injury [CFA 29.07].
b. Handcuffs will never be closed to the point where their tightness will inflict
obvious discomfort or injury to the prisoner/detainee. Their purpose is to
restrain the prisoner/detainee, not to punish or humili<lte. Whenever possible,
haJ;ldcuffs will be secured behind the prisoner/detainee's back and double
locked. Handcuffs will be removed when the prisoner/detainee is secured within
the county jailor receiving facility [CFA 29.06 b] [CFA 29.07].

Tobacco-Free Work Place -41.240:

D. Employee Use of Tobacco Products:


3. Employees shall not use tobacco products or allow others to use tobacco products in
departmental vehicles.

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