Officer accused of threatening woman retires amid more allegations

Woman says he sent hostile texts; judge says evidence shows only rough sex

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A police officer accused of threatening a local mother -- even texting her, "Do u wana die?" -- has resigned from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and the I-TEAM has learned there are new cases involving him under investigation in Nassau County.

Office Howsey Bowers retired last week after 22 years. While he is not charged with a crime, he is the subject of two new police complaints, including a complaint by Missy Whiddon that he choked her outside the Nassau County Courthouse.

In October, the I-TEAM reported that a Duval County judge denied an injunction Whiddon had sought over his threats, finding that there was only evidence the couple had been involved in rough sex. The judge found there wasn't enough to go on, especially since Whiddon had deleted some of her own messages back to Bowers.

Both Whiddon and Bowers work in Jacksonville but live in Nassau County, so she has now filed for two injunctions there. She later dropped the first one and the second was dismissed for lack of evidence.

Whiddon said she remains in fear for her life as the Nassau County Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney's Office are looking into the new allegations to decide if a crime was committed. 

"This man, he’s done some damage to me," Whiddon said. "After all this, I think I need to talk to someone because I still don’t understand what I did to him."

We found Whiddon filed two new police reports involving Bowers: one claiming "threats of extortion" for more harassing texts from an unknown number and the other for battery, in which she alleges Bowers choked her outside the courthouse.

"It’s like he went black. ... His eyes went blank. It’s like it wasn’t even him," Whiddon said.  "I said, 'Something is wrong with you, you need help. Please get help.'"

Whiddon showed photos as proof of the incident. News4Jax confirmed prosecutors are reviewing the case.

"It’s not if they believe me or not. I don’t care about that. I just care about the safety of my daughter, my grandbabies and me," Whiddon said. "He’s put me through a lot."

Reached for comment Wednesday, Bowers hung up once he knew who was calling.

The I-TEAM found complaints by citizens in his JSO personnel file, including two harassment allegations. Neither of the complaints were verified. He also has a reputation of being a good and thorough officer.

Bowers retired with a full pension because he has not been charged with a crime. 

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