Bradenton police sergeant suspended for one day for use of threatening language

jdeleon@bradenton.comNovember 27, 2013 

BRADENTON -- A Bradenton police sergeant was suspended without pay for one day after threatening to kill a battery victim who was intoxicated.

An internal investigation determined Sgt. James Kaull violated human relations conduct policy, according to an internal affairs report. Kaull was ordered suspended without pay for one shift, 10 hours.

Police were called Aug. 17 to a home in the 2220 block of Fifth Avenue Terrace East in Bradenton after a resident reported her neighbor appeared drunk and beaten up.

Kaull and a fellow officer found the victim, who they reported to appear drunk with a cut on his left ear and an injury to his mouth, according to the fellow officer. The victim was taken to Manatee Memorial for treatment under the Marchman Act while the other officer finished the investigation at the home.

While at the hospital Kaull said the medic reported the victim was threatening to kill her. The victim then proceeded to threaten in Spanish to kill Kaull, the medic

and everyone there, according to Kaull's internal affairs interview.

Kaull returned to the nurse's station as the victim was taken to his room and the other responding officer arrived at the hospital.

Hospital staff then requested assistance with the victim, who told police that he did not wish to be hospitalized. As staff attempted to restrain him to the bed, the victim reportedly tried to hit Kaull.

"As we were getting a defiant and upset (victim) into his room to be treated, I observed as Sgt. Kaull grabbed the throat/lower jaw area," the officer wrote. "As Sgt. Kaull was doing so, he stated to (the victim) approximately two to three times in the company of medical staff 'If you touch my face again, I'll (expletive) kill you.'"

Following the incident, the other officer wrote a memo to his commanding officer Aug. 23 out of concern the incident had not been discussed.

An internal affairs investigation was initiated Sept. 21 to determine whether Kaull had committed conduct infractions.

Kaull was exonerated in the second allegation of excessive use of force.

According to the human relations conduct code: "Members shall not use coarse, violent, profane or insolent language; neither shall he/she willfully embarrass, humiliate nor shame any person nor do anything that might incite any person to violence."

Kaull admitted to making the comment in response to the victim's "extremely hostile, extremely threatening" behavior.

"Sgt. Kaull advised that the 'spur of the moment' comment was made during a time that he felt threatened by (the victim) and he is embarrassed for making this comment."

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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