Tag: reckless driving

The Traffic Stop II

On September 7, 2019 Jeremy Dewitte was arrested by Windermere Police Department for resisting arrest, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and falsely impersonating a police officer.

Sergeant Mark DeStefano claimed he observed Jeremy Dewitte stopping traffic while flashing lights on his motorcycle at a roundabout on Maguire Road and Park Avenue.

As Jeremy Dewitte and employees of Metro-State Special Services left the area around a tree-lined bend, Sergeant DeStefano stated he never lost sight of Dewitte while he was on his motorcycle and allegedly crossing a double yellow line.

While conducting the traffic stop Jeremy Dewitte’s Florida tag came back as a HIT for a stolen vehicle. Dewitte was placed in handcuffs and detained during the investigation.

In the end Jeremy Dewitte was arrested and charged for resisting arrest without violence, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and falsely impersonating a police officer. The charge for an unlawful use of a two-way communication device was dropped and replaced with a reckless driving charge by the State of Florida.

In September 2020, Jeremy Dewitte was in Windermere, Florida for a business meeting. According to Dewitte, while he was driving he noticed a Windermere police officer following his Metro-State Special Services vehicle in a squad car.

On September 13, 2020 Metro-State Special Services employees Alec Ringdahl, Andrew Ross, Dean Perry and an employee who goes by the callsign of “Oaks” conducted a funeral escort with Apopka Police Department.

During the funeral procession Alec Ringdahl noticed Sergeant Keith Vidler from Orange County Sheriff’s Office parked under a bridge observing Metro-State employees and Apopka police officers.

Sergeant Keith Vidler was in his unmarked patrol car fully dressed in his uniform.

Dean Perry and Oaks were stopped by Sergeant Vidler and received multiple tickets. One of the tickets they received stated both of the men displayed flashing purple lights outside of the funeral procession. According to Metro-State Special Services employees, Sergeant Keith Vidler stopped them during the funeral procession.

Sergeant Vidler’s complaint claimed Perry and Oaks violated Florida Statute 316.2397(7) which states flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles unless with certain exceptions such as a motorist who flashes his lights to change lanes or uses his lights to indicate his vehicle is lawfully stopped. Alec Ringdahl uploaded a video of the encounter.

Florida Statute 316.1974(2)(a) states non-law enforcement funeral escort vehicles shall be equipped with at least one lighted circulation lamp exhibiting an amber or purple light or lens. Flashing amber or purple lights may be used only when such vehicles are used in a funeral procession.

Over the last few months we have received several items from Metro-State Special Services including video footage, screenshots, and text messages. A series of text messages from Steven “Recycle” Negron and photographs of Steven Negron and Victor “Photo” Lopez were forwarded to us this week.

Jeremy Dewitte’s next court date is September 23, 2020 for a trial management conference with Judge Renee Roche.

The Traffic Stop

On September 7, 2019 Jeremy Dewitte was arrested in Windermere, Florida for allegedly impersonating a police officer.

The arresting officer was Jerrell Ogletree and his supervisor was Sergeant Mark DeStefano. In his report Officer Ogletree said he observed a black and gray motorcycle with multicolored lights, air horn and sirens activated during a funeral procession.

Ogletree stated the motorcycle passed his patrol vehicle and passed over a double yellow line while traveling in the same lane as the vehicle in the procession.

Officer Ogletree activated his emergency equipment and conducted a traffic stop at McKinnon Road and Lake Butler Boulevard.

While conducting the traffic stop Jeremy Dewitte’s Florida tag came back as a HIT for a stolen vehicle. Dewitte was placed in handcuffs and detained during the investigation.

Ogletree said Jeremy Dewitte had to be redirected several times during the search and Dewitte used his communication device that was attached to his helmet to yell for backup.

Jeremy Dewitte was disarmed and placed in the back of Ogletree’s patrol vehicle. In his report Officer Ogletree claimed Dewitte was wearing apparel and gear similar to law enforcement.

Sergeant DeStefano said he believed Jeremy Dewitte was a member of law enforcement as he approached him and he saw the lights on the motorcycle were flashing.

DeStefano claimed he was familiar with Jeremy Dewitte and saw him blocking the intersection. Sergeant DeStefano gave Winter Garden Police Department Dewitte’s Florida tag number and Winter Garden Police dispatch advised the motorcycle was stolen out of Orlando Police Department.

DeStefano said after he secured Jeremy Dewitte, Dewitte yelled and pulled away from him. The motorcycle was found not to be stolen and properly registered to Metro-State Special Services and Jeremy Dewitte.

Sergeant Mark DeStefano felt Jeremy Dewitte was presenting himself as a law enforcement officer.

DeStefano provided a supplemental report two days after the arrest at 2:01 AM.

In the report Sergeant DeStefano stated he observed flashing lights on Jeremy Dewitte’s motorcycle. For the first time he said he could hear the sound of an air horn. Mark DeStefano claimed he visually estimated the speed of the motorcycle and he believed Dewitte was traveling at 70-80 mph.

DeStefano said he was radar certified and had been since 1982.

Officer Jerrell Ogletree also provided a supplemental report to add more details after he reviewed body worn camera footage and footage from surveillance cameras.

Ogletree emphasized Jeremy Dewitte’s use of police codes and Florida statutes.

Officer Jeffrey Czwornog, Officer Ryan Miller and Trainee Officer Tuck were at the scene as well.

Both Czwornog and Miller claimed they mistakenly believed Metro-State Special Services was Ocoee Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol when they first arrived for back up.

Officer Czwornog stated there were several Metro-State vehicles on scene and he was advised by Sergeant DeStefano to ask the Metro-State employees to leave the scene.

Czwornog said Dewitte was “in handcuffs and irate.” According to Officer Czwornog, Jeremy Dewitte stated he was recording the events.

Czwornog verified Jeremy Dewitte’s motorcycle VIN and provided the information to dispatch who then verified it was a Kawasaki motorcycle registered to Metro-State Special Services and Jeremy Dewitte.

Officer Czwornog said he spoke to Dewitte and told him he was being arrested for resisting. Officer Czwornog also claimed a tow truck driver from Car Store Towing Company thought Dewitte’s motorcycle was a police motorcycle. The tow truck driver allegedly said if he saw the vehicle on the road with its lights on he would, “Get out of the way.”

Neither incident was shown in body worn camera footage.

When Officer Ryan Miller arrived he advised Officer Jerrell Ogletree to place Jeremy Dewitte into his patrol vehicle after Dewitte “began to yell and became irate.”

Officer Miller stated he noticed Dewitte was wearing apparel and equipment similar to law enforcement.

Jeremy Dewitte was charged with resisting arrest without violence, unlawful use of a two-way communication device and falsely impersonating a police officer.

Assistant State Attorney Steven Casey Miller later dropped the unlawful use of a two-way communication device charge and added one reckless driving charge.

During the September 7, 2019 incident former Metro-State Special Services employee Steven Negron recorded the beginning of the encounter with Windermere Police Department with his dash camera.

In the video below Steven Negron is driving a vehicle during the procession. Jeremy Dewitte can be seen in the video on a motorcycle, as well as Sergeant Mark DeStefano in his patrol vehicle. Jeremy Dewitte also made a jail call to Steven Negron after the arrest.

We had a chance to speak to someone from Metro-State Special Services. The person wanted to speak about those who turned on the company, those who stayed with the company and those who are helping the company. The person chose to remain anonymous.

We’ve been followed by helicopters. That’s confirmed by Orange County Sheriff’s Office. We have been under surveillance.
A lot of what’s being said and seen is taken out of context. We don’t watch the videos. Someone was hired to watch them for us. When the deputy sheriffs and detectives are asking you questions they aren’t asking you the same things on the tape and off the tape. They’re talking to you and getting you mad off the tape and telling you what someone said but it’s a lie. They just want you mad. Then they hit record and you’re saying things you don’t mean because you’re upset. The cops did this with everybody and the people who weren’t strong enough flipped. We compared notes and it was just a bunch of lies to get us to hate each other. There were apologies and we moved on.

Metro-State Special Services

We will upload interviews with some of the employees from Metro-State Special Services at a later date.