The Lawsuit

On March 23, 2018 just before his brother Jeremy Dewitte was arrested for failing to register properly as a sex offender, Dylan Vogt filed a lawsuit against a man named Jerome.

An incident occurred on July 27, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida between Dylan Vogt and Jerome. Dylan alleged Jerome hit him with his SUV and fled the scene.

Winter Park Police Department was dispatched and Officer Joshua Larson arrested Jerome who was later charged for aggravated assault and battery. The charges were dismissed. 

However it didn’t appear Dylan Vogt was finished with the case. His attorney James Shea Gentry filed the suit and asked for monetary damages as well as a trial by jury.

Dylan Vogt claimed he suffered damages in excess of $15,000 for mental anguish and the loss of enjoyment of life. Dylan accused Jerome of intentionally striking him. Dylan also claimed he was working as an independent contractor. 

In the complaint James Gentry ironically mentioned Dylan Vogt was directing traffic during this incident, an act which was outside of the scope of the funeral escort business. And an act which would later cause him to be charged with impersonating a police officer.

On May 17, 2019 Scott Rost and Stephanie Pillar made an appearance on behalf of Jerome. A few weeks later Jerome filed a countersuit against Dylan Vogt, Metro-State Special Services and Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Homes otherwise known as S.E. Funeral Homes of Florida.

Although Jeremy Dewitte claimed Metro-State was in business for 10 years, the company had only recently been registered on February 15, 2019.

S.E. Funeral Homes/Baldwin-Fairchild was believed to have been negligent in hiring Metro-State Special Services to act as security for their funeral services when Jeremy Dewitte and Dylan Vogt were both felons. 

During the time of the incident Dylan Vogt was still on felony probation and neither Dylan or Jeremy Dewitte possessed a “D” security license.

According to Jerome’s attorneys S.E. Funeral Homes either failed to verify this information or knew the brothers were felons who couldn’t possibly qualify for the job but were still hired and placed the public at risk. 

And despite earlier attempts to retrieve highly personal information from Jerome, Dylan Vogt refused to produce his own personal information.

Dylan refused to provide a copy of his driver’s license and he even refused to produce a copy of his last tax return.

This was interesting because Jeremy Dewitte’s ex, Jennifer, claimed in an affidavit Metro-State employees were being paid under the table.

On June 27, 2019 S.E. Funeral Homes was served with a third party defendant summons. On September 6, 2019, one day before Jeremy Dewitte’s Windermere arrest, attorney Lawrence Burkhalter made an appearance for the funeral home. 

On September 18, 2019 Jay Bowen stated he attempted to serve Jeremy Dewitte with a third party defendant summons on behalf of Jerome three separate times beginning on July 25, 2019. 

On July 25, 2019 Jay Bowen went to 95 Columbia Street at the Crest Apartments in Orlando. The doors to the apartment building were locked and two lower units were vacant. 

This address was also listed on Jeremy Dewitte’s business filing. Reportedly this wasn’t a legitimate address and it was strictly used to pick up and drop off packages.

On August 14, 2019 at 8:08 A.M Jay Bowen attempted to serve Jeremy Dewitte at Metro-State Special Services headquarters on North Orange Blossom Trail. There were no vehicles present because Metro-State had recently been served eviction papers and moved to a new location.

On August 15, 2019 Jay Bowen called Jeremy Dewitte. Jeremy refused to provide an address and stated he wanted an attorney to call him.

On September 26, 2019 Judge Keith Carsten granted Jerome’s motion to extend time in order to serve Metro-State Special Services.

December 31, 2019 at 11:45am Jay Bowen arrived at Jeremy Dewitte’s home. By this time Jeremy had been arrested three times for police impersonation. Rania Dewitte opened the door.

Jay Bowen identified himself and asked for Jeremy Dewitte. Rania said he wasn’t home.

Rania refused to say her name and she would only say she resided at the rental home. Jay Bowen told her he had legal documents for Jeremy. Rania Dewitte stated she wasn’t accepting anything for him.

 
Jay Bowen claimed he told Rania that because she was a legal resident of the home she was authorized by statute to receive the summons on his behalf. Rania refused and attempted to close the door.

Jay Bowen told her he was leaving the documents on a chair next to the door. Jay stated Rania Dewitte was indifferent and closed the door. He also saw Jeremy Dewitte’s personal Metro-State vehicle in the driveway.

Ironically, it was Dylan Vogt’s decision to file a lawsuit against Jerome that caused a spotlight to be placed on Metro-State Special Services and Jeremy Dewitte’s contracts with funeral homes.

If Dylan hadn’t filed the lawsuit Orange County Sheriff’s Office would not have looked deeper into the incident, and he and his brother Jeremy Dewitte would not be co-defendants in a felony police impersonation case.