Deputy Joseph Sperring

A deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office was arrested early Wednesday morning by Gainesville Police and is accused of domestic battery against his girlfriend.

Deputy Joseph Sperring faces charges of simple battery and aggravated assault.

Police arrived outside of Sperring’s girlfriend’s apartment, where she told them Sperring had a gun and wouldn’t leave, according to a GPD arrest report.

She told police they had been dating for about two months and that Sperring came to her apartment to spend the night Tuesday. Sperring and the woman were laying together in her bed after he took a sleeping pill, according to the report. She told police that she left to sleep in another room because Sperring began tossing and turning.

That’s when she said Sperring became “erratic,” according to the report.

The two began arguing, and she asked Sperring to leave multiple times. According to the report, she called police while they argued but hung up after Sperring asked her to.

She said he was worried he might get in trouble, according to the report.

The couple was arguing in the living room when Sperring grabbed his gun and said he “would use it,” according to the report. The woman told police that Sperring said he’d kill her and himself while placing the gun in his mouth.

She then called the police for a second time and ran out of her apartment, according to the report.

After his arrest — and with a lawyer present — Sperring told police that his girlfriend’s telling of events wasn’t accurate and that he wouldn’t elaborate any further, according to the report.

Police found an upholstered loaded handgun in Sperring’s bag, which his girlfriend identified as the same gun he threatened her with, according to the report.  

Sperring was taken to the Alachua County Jail, where he was released Wednesday afternoon on his own recognizance.

ACSO spokesperson Art Forgey said Sperring was suspended and placed on administrative leave Wednesday amid a criminal investigation.

Sperring is the second ACSO deputy involved in a criminal investigation in the past two weeks.

Clinton Ferguson, a former deputy, was fired last week after the state attorney’s office dropped his charge of abuse June 27, according to Alligator archives.


Staff Writer

David Hoffman covers crime and metro for The Alligator. A rising UF history and economics senior, the 21-year-old lives and breathes for classy Parks and Recreation references and watching live performances of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on YouTube.