MANATEE -- Two gang detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office have resigned after being investigated over behavior at a law enforcement conference last month.
Travis Allison and Peter Brooks, hired by the sheriff's office in August 2010 and November 2010, respectively, resigned this month. The sheriff's office conducted separate internal affairs investigations on their activities at the Florida Gang Investigators Association Conference from Aug. 3-8 in Ponte Vedra Beach.
The report indicates Allison and Brooks bought alcohol Aug. 4 and began drinking after dinner in their hotel room.
Around 12:45 a.m., the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office received a call about a
suspicious person at Aqua Grill, 950 Sawgrass Village Dr., Ponte Vedra Beach. Inspector Sgt. Marc Holden reported a highly intoxicated Allison struck another patron at the bar during an altercation witnessed by other law enforcement officers.
After being asked to leave the bar, Allison began fighting in the parking lot. He was temporarily detained in a patrol vehicle and, after officers learned Allison was a law enforcement officer, escorted back to his hotel room.
Hotel security also responded to a noise complaint at the room close to Allison and Brooks, according to the report. Allison was found walking toward the hotel parking lot and, when confronted by a security officer, said he was planning on driving home.
Report: Conduct unbecoming a deputy
"Based on his conduct during the incident, Detective Allison was barred from attending the Florida Gang Investigators Association conference," according to the report.
"Conduct unbecoming a deputy" was listed in bold in the report's conclusion.
In Allison's resignation letter to Sheriff Brad Steube, the detective declared Thursday, Sept. 11, his last day of employment.
"I appreciate the opportunities I have been given at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office," his letter stated. "I wish you and the agency success in the future. Thank you."
The internal affairs report on Brooks states the highly intoxicated detective forcefully entered the wrong hotel room, causing damage. He was detained by hotel security and transported to a local hospital for a head injury. Brooks was barred from attending the conference after the incident, according to the report.
In her testimony, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Field Agent Joan Livingston said she was woken by someone trying to enter her hotel room. She said the person began violently beating on her door after failing to get in with an access card.
FDLE Bureau Chief Glen Hopkins also testified he was woken by the sound of pounding on the neighboring hotel room door. He said he heard conversation between the security officer and Brooks, who asked not to notify his agency for fear his actions would result in an internal investigation.
In a letter to Steube dated Sept. 9, Brooks cited personal reasons for resigning.
According to Allison, he, Brooks and another detective bought two 12-packs of beer and a bottle of whiskey.
Both admitted they drank beer before dinner, more during dinner and whiskey afterward in their hotel room. The report indicates both men were unable to recall all the details of that night.
Monday evening, sheriff's spokesperson Dave Bristow declined to comment on the internal affairs investigations or resignation letters, but did confirm the two men knew they were being investigated.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. You can follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.