JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officer was arrested Thursday in St. Johns County and accused of domestic battery, domestic strangulation and depriving the victim of the ability to call 911.
Deke Brucker, 44, is accused of committing the crimes against his girlfriend of two years.
According to an arrest report, Brucker’s girlfriend told investigators he wanted to have sex on Thursday night, and when she refused, he punched her in the face, grabbed her by the throat and took her cellphone so she couldn’t call 911. She told deputies she thought she was going to die. She also said it wasn’t the first time Brucker had harmed her, but the first time she reported it to law enforcement.
The woman had a cut on her nose and a “substantial amount of blood on her face,” according to the report.
Brucker was taken to jail without incident and later released on bond.
JSO told News4JAX on Monday that Brucker has resigned.
Brucker is the 12th member of JSO to be arrested so far this year.
News4JAX requested comment from both candidates running to become Jacksonville sheriff.
“It’s frustrating when we see police officers arrested, but when I become the sheriff, I’ll make sure officers are held accountable when they break the law,” said Lakesha Burton.
“Part of recruitment is making sure we’re recruiting the best and the brightest and making sure we’re continuing to support them and give them the tools to do their job successfully, and that means their personal lives as well,” she added.
A request for comment from T.K. Waters was not returned by Monday evening.
News4JAX learned of the Thursday incident on Monday, the same day the city and JSO held a news conference to highlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“October, this is the month we are really advocated for domestic violence prevention,” Burton said. “Violence is never the answer, so I think we have to do more with investing in police officers. The training is important.”
The city said more than 8,700 domestic violence offenses are reported to law enforcement in Jacksonville every year and even more go unreported.
If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse, there are also other resources available:
- Hubbard House Hotline (904) 354-3114 or Textline (904) 210-3698
- The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline, which will direct you to the nearest shelter, is 1-800-500-1119.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE.
- The Micah’s Place (Nassau County) Domestic Violence Help Hotline is 904-225-9979.
- The Quigley House (Clay County) hotline is 904-284-0061. https://www.quigleyhouse.org/.
- The Betty Griffin Center (St. Johns County) can be reached at 904-824-1555.