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Flagler detective suspended 42 days without pay after arrest outside St. Augustine bar

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Detective Richard Petkovsek will return to work after suspension

Surveillance video footage shows  Detective Richard Petkovsek (left) outside the White Lion Bar and Grill in St. Augustine shortly before he was arrested on Nov. 23.
Surveillance video footage shows Detective Richard Petkovsek (left) outside the White Lion Bar and Grill in St. Augustine shortly before he was arrested on Nov. 23. (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Detective Richard Petkovsek was suspended for six weeks after he was arrested outside a St. Augustine bar in November, the Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Office said Petkovsek will soon return to work after he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence following an argument with bouncers at the White Lion Bar and Grill in downtown St. Augustine on Nov. 23.

The St. Augustine Police Department was called to the bar just after 2 a.m. because employees said Petkovsek tried to fight one of the bouncers after he was denied entry.

According to an arrest report, Petkovsek raised his voice, shouted profanities and refused to leave. He then refused to cooperate with an SAPD officer, the report said, and physically pulled away. Video provided by the FCSO shows that Petkovsek was eventually taken to the ground by the officers and arrested.

Petkovsek later acknowledged that his behavior was unacceptable and apologized, according to an internal investigation report.

Following the internal investigation, Petkovsek received discipline that included: A suspension without pay for 42 days; planned transfer to a specialized unit was rescinded; written apology to the FCSO, the St. Augustine Police Department and the White Lion Bar and Lounge; reimbursement of the costs of the investigation and prosecution; forfeiture of annual step pay increase for 2020; mandatory Employee Assistance Program; and disciplinary probation for one year.

“While the FCSO does not in any way condone Detective Petkovsek’s actions, up until this incident he has demonstrated nothing but professionalism and passion for community service including being the 2017 Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for Flagler County,” Chief of Staff Mark Strobridge said in a press release. “While he was not fired, significant discipline is being imposed. We believe that he will successfully complete his disciplinary probation agreement and live up to the standard of conduct expected of each FCSO employee.”

Petkovsek was hired by the FCSO in 2014. He was a detective assigned to General Assignment Unit with the FCSO Investigative Services Division.


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