Clearwater, Fla. (970 WFLA) - A Sarasota patrol cop is off the job at least temporarily after his arrest at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Friday night.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says that Derrick Gilbert, 51, was removed from an Allegiant Air flight bound for North Carolina after the flight crew said he was too drunk to find his seat, had slurred speech and glassy eyes and seemed confused.
Gilbert became combative, shoving an Allegiant employee, yelling profanities at others, and hitting his 18-year-old son, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. Deputies say when they told Gilbert that they would arrest him for trespassing if he did not leave the airport, Gilbert replied that they could not arrest him because he was an officer with Sarasota Police.
He was wrong. They took him to the Pinellas County Jail. Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino put Gilbert on paid leave and began an internal investigation, according to a news release from Sarasota Police.
Photo of Derrick Gilbert courtesy of the Pinellas Co. Jail.