JFRD lifeguard fired after arrest on DUI, drug, weapons charges

19-year-old was seasonal JFRD employee, not a firefighter

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

A young lifeguard for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department whose job was to protect people around the water is facing serious legal trouble after he was arrested Wednesday on DUI, drug and weapons charges. 

Steven Sexton, 19, worked for the department as a seasonal lifeguard and was not a firefighter, a JFRD spokesman said. He was fired following his arrest.

Sexton was charged with DUI, speeding, open carrying of weapons, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Sexton's arrest report, an officer clocked the 19-year-old on radar going 63 mph in a 40 mph zone Wednesday night and pulled him over for speeding on St. Johns Bluff Road. 

Police said Sexton was the only one in the car and that he showed signs of impairment, including bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, and that his car smelled of marijuana.  

Police said they found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a gun inside the vehicle.

Sexton, who worked as a seasonal lifeguard with JFRD’s Ocean Rescue, was hired by the department in the spring, according to a JFRD spokesman. 

The department's lifeguards work at Hanna Park and Huguenot Park from Memorial Day until Labor Day. 

JFRD Chief Keith Powers said the department "does not tolerate this kind of behavior from any employee -- seasonal, full-time, etc."

Someone who knows Sexton told News4Jax that the teenager's arrest is unfortunate because he wanted to become a firefighter. 

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office website, Sexton was released Thursday on an approximately $5,000 bond. 

News4Jax reached Sexton by phone Friday morning, but he declined to comment.

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