In Part 1 of The Emails we discussed several emails exchanged between deputy sheriffs from Orange County and the surrounding counties. The emails were shared with this site via a third party. Any notes or highlights were not made by this site.
Although Sergeant Keith Vidler was a motor officer for Orange County Sheriff’s Office, he was at one time given permission to lead the investigation over the Jeremy Dewitte case. He and his motor partner Corporal John Ramsey were ordered to stop their investigation in December 2019.
Before his orders to stand down, Sergeant Vidler exchanged hundreds of emails with other members of law enforcement, including Detective John Allen from Windermere Police Department. Windermere Police Department was the first agency to arrest Jeremy Dewitte for allegedly impersonating a police officer in September 2019.
On September 11, 2019 Detective John Allen shared a link to a Chicago, Illinois news article featuring Jeremy Dewitte. During the infamous Chicago incident Jeremy Dewitte was accused of throwing chairs at a tow truck driver. Dewitte was arrested but later released and all charges against him were dismissed in 2020.
Detective John Allen sent the Chicago emails approximately six months before video footage was released online.
Detective Allen also tried to help Sergeant Keith Vidler find probable cause for a search warrant. Sergeant Vidler was unable to articulate why he needed certain video files from Jeremy Dewitte’s cameras.
Sergeant Keith Vidler also contacted Orange County Sheriff’s Office employees James Montgomery and Junella Uadan for assistance with his search warrants.
The following day the search warrant was rejected by Judge Michael Murphy.
An employee history for Sergeant Keith Vidler was located in one portion of the documents we received. Sergeant Vidler received multiple complaints during his career as a law enforcement officer with Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Complainants claimed Vidler was rude, abrasive and vulgar and he lacked the courtesy that was required from a public servant.
On more than one occasion the deputy sheriff was accused of mishandling investigations as well as falsifying documents.
In 2009 a citizen claimed Sergeant Keith Vidler harassed him about a personal business arrangement between the two.
In 2005 a complaint was sustained after Sergeant Vidler wrecked a vehicle on-duty.
One of the first complainants stated Sergeant Keith Vidler used racial slurs towards him and allowed his canine to bite the individual. The law enforcement officer was also accused of using excessive force nearly 30 times.
In Part 3 of the emails we will discuss the agencies Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Sergeant Keith Vidler contacted as well as the interesting response from one federal agency.
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.
Mohney claimed Jeremy Dewitte attempted to pull him over and impersonate a police officer while driving erratically during a funeral procession. Dewitte claimed Todd Mohney hit him with his vehicle and refused to leave the funeral procession.
Orlando Police Department arrived at Blue Jacket Park and defused the situation. Sergeant Keith Vidler from Orange County Sheriff’s Office also arrived on the scene and detained Metro-State Special Services employees Victor Lopez, Steven Negron and Randall Brocius.
Lopez and Negron were released but Brocius was arrested for openly carrying a weapon.
On the scene Sergeant Vidler spoke to Jeremy Dewitte about a run-in he had with another Metro-State Special Services employee with the callsign of “Repo.” Vidler stated Repo almost ran him off of the road in Lake County, Florida.
We had the opportunity to speak to Repo as he explained his side of the story in an interview we conducted this week.
After the arrest of Randall Brocius, Jeremy Dewitte hired an attorney and filed a complaint with Orange County Sheriff’s Office against Todd Mohney.
A USB flash drive contained hours of video, including the Lake County incident, a separate encounter with Sergeant Keith Vidler during a funeral procession, video surveillance of Sergeant Keith Vidler allegedly attempting to open a locked window at Metro-State’s former headquarters and the extended version of the exchange between Mohney and Dewitte.
According to a source from Metro-State Special Services, the flash drive was given to someone the company believed to be from Professional Standards. Instead the flash drive was allegedly given to Sergeant Keith Vidler, Corporal John Ramsey and Deputy Waesco during an interview. The complaint was not investigated by Professional Standards.
The flash drive is no longer available.
Windermere Police Department claimed they also lost helmet camera video files from the day of Jeremy Dewitte’s September arrest.
After Corporal John Ramsey and Sergeant Keith Vidler conducted a search of a previous Metro-State office location in October 2019, there have been claims of missing surveillance footage taken during the search.
The source also provided text messages between Sergeant Keith Vidler and Jeremy Dewitte who texted one another from September 2019 until March 2020.
In October 2019 Sergeant Vidler set up a surveillance operation of Metro-State Special Services and Jeremy Dewitte. During the surveillance Sergeant Vidler spoke to himself and possibly one other person as he watched a funeral procession pass by.
On August 31, 2020, Rachel Mattie, defense attorney for Randall Brocius, filed a motion in limine. She claimed Sergeant Keith Vidler’s narrative was prejudicial.
A hearing has been set and it is up to Judge Renee Roche to make the final decision.
On September 9, 2020, Dylan Vogt’s defense attorney, Michael Barber, withdrew as counsel stating there was a conflict of interest.
Jeremy Dewitte’s next court date is November 10, 2020 for a pre-trial conference.
And in July 2020, 10 months after the case began, Jeremy Dewitte’s daughter was born.
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.
According to court documents this is a text message Jeremy Dewitte sent to his ex girlfriend, Jennifer, in February 2019.
On October 8, 2019, eight months after the text messages to Jennifer, Sergeant Keith Vidler received information from Detective John Allen from Windermere Police Department.
Detective Allen obtained videos of several crimes from Jeremy Dewitte’s body camera after a search warrant was conducted.
Sergeant Vidler reviewed the videos and he watched as Jeremy Dewitte handled a citizen’s complaint via cell phone. The video was 7 minutes and 41 seconds long. It was labeled “FILE0160.”
Jeremy Dewitte identified himself to the victim, Heather, as “J.” This conversation occurred on September 26, 2019.
During the conversation Jeremy Dewitte’s cell phone was in clear view of the body camera and 35 seconds into the recording it appears Jeremy adjusted his body camera to ensure the phone call was being recorded.
Four minutes and 31 seconds into the call Heather hung up. Jeremy Dewitte immediately called her back and he continued to record the call until the 5:41 mark. Heather hung up once again.
Jeremy called her back and recorded the conversation until the 7:30 mark when he appeared to be satisfied with his responses and he terminated the call.
It is interesting to note Metro-State employees were seen in the background encouraging Jeremy’s behavior during this interaction. This was very similar to a complaint his ex made about incessant calls and texts from Jeremy Dewitte and his employees.
In his report Sergeant Keith Vidler stated there were three separate calls between Heather and Jeremy Dewitte and at no time did Jeremy inform the victim she was being recorded.
On October 8, 2019 Corporal John Ramsey met Heather at her place of employment and conducted a taped interview.
Heather stated on September 26, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. she stopped for a red light when she began to hear sirens approaching from behind. Heather saw a white police-style motorcycle approach the intersection and Jeremy Dewitte began to direct traffic.
Heather was ordered to move from her stopped position but she was suspicious because she had never heard of Metro-State Special Services. She was also suspicious about the use of purple and amber lights instead of red and blue lights.
Heather stated Metro-State vehicles were driving aggressively and had emergency lights and sirens activated. She called 9 1 1 to report the activity but the dispatcher had never heard of Metro-State Special Services.
It appeared Jeremy Dewitte’s body-worn camera was one of his favorite work devices. He seemed to use it often, so often he had to create electronic files to save all of his material in a safe place.
Jeremy Dewitte admitted in Jennifer’s February 2019 texts he recorded everyone and everything, audio and visual, in his vehicles and in his office. And he did it all without the person’s consent.
It was almost as if it was a pile of little treasures he collected.
Heather’s September 2019 recording was only found because of the search warrant Windermere Police Department conducted. The recorded conversation between two employees with the State Attorney’s Office and Jeremy Dewitte was also found in a search.
Whether someone else’s private conversations or in-person interactions with Jeremy Dewitte were also taped and secretly squirreled away in “FILE0001” through ”FILE0159” remains to be seen.