An Alachua County detention officer was suspended Jan. 8 and later arrested for two counts of aggravated assault.
Edwaldo Santos, an Alachua County Jail detention officer, was arrested on Jan. 15 and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill, according to an ACSO arrest report.
Loana Groover and Michael Davis told police that on Dec. 20, they had a confrontation in a parking lot with Santos, when he pulled out a gun and pointed it and waved it around in their faces, according to the arrest report. The incident took place in the parking lot of Waldo Villas Apartments at 14451 NE 153rd Ave in Waldo.
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Frank Kinsey said someone, who he declined to identify, called to complain about the incident as a possible misconduct for an officer. That information was then provided to the office of professional standards at ACSO.
Kinsey said when the officers realized the incident involved criminal behavior, it was passed to detectives to further investigate. Santos was then suspended on Jan. 8.
“No one is above the law, not even our own employees. If you break the law, you are going to be held accountable,” Sheriff Clovis Watson said in a press release following Santos’ arrest last week.
According to the arrest report, Groover told police she and Davis parked her truck in an open spot in the parking lot when Santos parked perpendicularly behind her. Davis and Santos then both exited the vehicles, and Santos confronted Davis about an earlier incident between Santos’s roommate and Davis.
Davis told police Santos was his neighbor, but he did not know his name, according to the police report.
Groover said Santos yelled at Davis and when the argument escalated, Santos pulled a black firearm from his waistband, according to the report. Santos then pointed the gun at Davis’s face and then at Groover. Groover told police Santos had his finger inside the trigger guard and recalled that Santos said he could “shoot anyone of you,” the report reads.
Davis told police Santos waved the gun around in his face. He said he blacked out in fear for his life and could not recall what Santos said while waving the gun, according to the report.
Santos began laughing, so Groover and Davis both started laughing nervously with him. According to the report, Santos then put his gun back in his waistband and told them he was joking. However, Groover and Davis told police that they were fearful and thought Santos was going to shoot them.
Santos went into the sheriff's office on Jan. 15 and agreed to talk with detectives, according to the arrest report. During this time, detectives learned that Santos owned a Glock 17, but he didn’t confirm if he had the same interaction with Groover and Davis described in the police report.
As Santos was exiting his vehicle, he said Davis shouted something to him about Santos’s shaved legs, the report reads. Santos then said he told Davis not to speak like that in front of people. Santos admitted to standing behind the vehicle and said that Groover was inside the vehicle; however, he said he did not remember any other comments.
The ACSO detectives told Santos that the victims reported he threatened them during a confrontational interaction. When police asked Santos to provide them more details about the incident, he refused to answer and requested to stop the interview, according to the police report.
Santos was hired by the sheriff’s office Jan. 6., 2020 Kinsey said. He was released from jail Jan. 16 on a $30,000 bond.
Contact Anna Wilder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @anna_wilderr.
Anna Wilder is a second-year journalism major and the criminal justice reporter. She's from Melbourne, Florida, and she enjoys being outdoors or playing the viola when she's not writing.