Putnam County corrections deputy fired after crashing car, pulling gun while drunk, sheriff says

Putnam County Sheriff's Office sign Sheriff Gator DeLoach (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX - All rights reserved.)

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – A Putnam County corrections deputy was fired Wednesday after he was charged with DUI and using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol in connection with an incident earlier this month.

Putnam County Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach said Corrections Deputy Allen Norton had been placed on administrative leave, pending the results of an internal investigation that was sparked by Norton’s arrest by the Palatka Police Department.

Editor’s note: While News4JAX does not typically name suspects charged with misdemeanors, we have chosen to name the suspect in this case because he was a deputy at the time of the incident.

According to the Police Department arrest report, Norton crashed his personal vehicle into another vehicle in a Krystal’s parking lot on June 4. Norton told the officers who arrived that he didn’t know he’d hit the vehicle in front of him and that when the occupants got out, he pulled out his service weapon while still sitting in the driver’s seat and pointed it at the ceiling of his vehicle to “prevent an altercation.”

The officers said Norton’s speech was slurred, and he had slow reflexes and glassy eyes. They also saw an open beer container in the front console of the vehicle.

Norton was charged with two misdemeanors: using a firearm under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence resulting in a vehicle crash. He was taken to the Putnam County Jail where he was released on $1,500 bond. His service weapon was confiscated at the scene and turned over to the Sheriff’s Office.

Norton was hired on Dec. 19, 2012. He has previous discipline for tardiness.

“The public expects our members to be role models on and off duty and they deserve nothing less,” DeLoach said. “Without exception, the members of the sheriff’s office are held to the highest standards of the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. Anyone who tarnishes their badge forfeits their right to be a member of our agency. This applies to not only our public life but also our private one. Our community deserves nothing less than our best day in and out.”

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.