Surveillance video from a gas station shows a Florida cop fabricated a felony charge against a woman when he falsely accused her of battery on an officer.
In fact, the video shows Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy Wayne Wagner committed battery on Paige Taylor, a 26-year-old woman whom he grabs, throws to the ground, then piles on top of after ordering her out of her car.
The video also shows the award-winning officer exaggerating to another deputy about what had taken place to justify his aggressive arrest, claiming as he did in his report, that she had shoved him after stepping out of the car, which was not the case.
The video, released this week, is what prompted the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office to dismiss the case against Taylor last month.
“There’s no approach. She comes out of the truck and she walks past him. She’s a full step past him. If he’s saying the door being slammed is an approach that’s a little strange,” said Taylor’s attorney, Chris Beardslee.
“As she steps past him, she takes the license but her hand didn’t touch his hand. There’s no shove. You can see the officer crystal clear. His body doesn’t move back, he doesn’t lose his balance, his heels don’t move. His body doesn’t move at all.”
Deputies said when they pulled the truck over because it had the wrong license plate attached, the driver of the truck, Gage Moore, 25, switched seats with Taylor, who was a passenger, because he was driving with a suspended license.
Moore was arrested anyway for being a “habitual offender” and deputy Wagner wanted to tow the truck.
Taylor admits she was already upset because she and her boyfriend were breaking up that night but the thought of her walking home made her even more upset.
After he ignored her pleas to allow her to drive her own car, she stepped out of the car and attempted to storm past him, but that made him angry.
“He just didn’t care,” Taylor said. “He was just like, ‘”figure out a way home and I’m taking the vehicle.'”
“I didn’t touch him at all,” she added. “I was really worried but I knew that deep down inside that I didn’t touch him.”
Interstingly, Taylor’s father is a federal law enforcement agent. She said she wants to see Wagner disciplined and held accountable after he physically took her down and then lied in the report about what happened.
“He slammed me to the ground pretty bad and I actually went face first,” she told BayNews9. “I really don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Especially, someone who’s innocent like myself.”
Deputy Wagner arrested Moore for habitual license violations and told Taylor the truck would be impounded.
She pleaded, to no avail, with the him to allow her to tow the truck so she wouldn’t be stranded at the gas station.
Deputy Wagner has worked for the St. Petersburg Police Department since 2014.
He was disciplined and received a 40 hour suspension in April for an unauthorized pursuit in a car chase where he reached speed limits of over 130 mph without lights and sirens on U.S. 19.
SPPD Sergeant Spencer Gross confirmed the department has received a complaint from Taylor’s attorney, but stated the department won’t comment until all the facts are in and an appropriate investigation into the allegations is conducted.