BRADENTON -- A former Bradenton police officer resigned after records indicate he asked the victim out instead of filing a violation of a domestic no-contact order, which delayed the protective order.
According to an internal affairs report, officer Cordario Pruitt, 28, went to a woman's home to investigate a domestic violence no-contact order. He took the report and is accused of returning the following week to ask her out on a date.
According to the IA report, Pruitt failed to turn in initial report paperwork, including a capias request, until Jan. 14. The 23-day delay in filing a capias request resulted in the victim enduring continuous harassment from her ex-boyfriend.
The internal affairs investigation concluded Feb. 4 after Pruitt failed to participate in his scheduled interview. The investigation sustained two findings of conduct unbecoming an officer and dereliction of duty.
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Pruitt, who got married June 6, called Bradenton Police Lt. John Affolter, head on Internal Affairs, to offer his resignation Feb. 3.
Affolter received a Jan. 15 email from Assistant State Attorney Ashley Dusnik about Pruitt's possibly inappropriate behavior. Pruitt, who was hired Jan. 5, 2015, had just concluded his one-year probation.
Affolter, also the primary investigator for the case, interviewed the victim at 5:07 p.m. Feb. 15. The victim said she called police Dec. 22 to file a complaint against her ex-boyfriend for violating a no-contact order. Pruitt responded to her residence, took her complaint and left, according to the report.
A week later, the victim was awakened by a phone call from Pruitt around 12:30 a.m. Pruitt reportedly asked if there had been any further violations of the no contact order. She said yes.
The victim told Pruitt she
would contact him the next afternoon after she got off work to file paperwork for the additional violations. The woman called Pruitt around 5:30 p.m. the following day, according to the report, and he arrived at her residence approximately three hours later at 8:30 p.m. to complete the paperwork.
The victim told Affolter she gave Pruitt all the paperwork she had compiled and told him her ex-boyfriend was continuously violating the no-contact order.
"She stated that Officer Pruitt commented: 'If you message someone over and over and they don't respond that would drive any man crazy,' which she felt was an 'odd statement,'" the report reads.
According to the report, the victim thought Pruitt was insinuating she was wrong for not responding to her ex-boyfriend's text messages.
The first time Pruitt responded to her home, the victim said he gave his police email address for her to send any "visual voicemails" from her ex-boyfriend, as well as photos. She told Affolter she sent several messages to Pruitt the next day, according to the report.
During the second visit to her home, Pruitt told the victim to send the messages to his personal email address, which she thought was "weird."
According to the report, the victim said Pruitt said "maybe next time you can file these over dinner," as he was about to leave her residence. She awkwardly replied, "ha ha," and shut her door.
A short time later, the victim alleged Pruitt sent a text message indicating: "I was serious about dinner."
According to Dusnik, she was conducting a prefiling interview when the domestic violence victim asked about the status of a no-contact order violation, according to the report. Unaware of the violation, Dusnik was unable to find a record of it in her computer system. The victim then told Dusnik about her encounter with Pruitt, which she believed was inappropriate.
Pruitt had a troubled past, according to a letter he submitted May 13, 2014, to accompany his application to the Bradenton Police Department.
"Life has taught me that everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to lessons learned and changing, how you respond to your mistakes is what should really reflect on you to others," Pruitt wrote. "In my teens, I acted very foolish, hanging with the wrong crowd, and did not really take life too seriously, but I can assure you that those days are long over."
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. Follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.