A Florida sheriff’s captain who passed out in traffic while his engine was running was permitted by a deputy to leave the scene without undergoing a medical evaluation or sobriety test earlier this month.
“You’re good, just leave, this didn’t happen,” a responding deputy said when the driver announced that he was a captain with the sheriff’s department.
As footage of the incident has been made public, the deputies involved are not under review, and no incident report was filed following the stop, according to the sheriff’s office.
Seminole County Sherriff’s Capt. Kip Beacham was off duty on July 8 when concerned drivers on the road called 911 because he was stopped near an intersection, passed out with his foot on the brake and his engine running.
Deputies and firefighters arrived and boxed Beacham in with vehicles to check on the driver of the SUV. About a full minute of banging on the driver’s side window was needed to wake Beacham up.
“He either OD’d or asleep?” a deputy said, body camera footage shows. The deputy then asked Beacham if he’d fallen asleep, apparently before realizing who the man was.
“Hey man hop out. Sheriff’s office, step out,” the deputy said.
When the door opened, the deputy asked if the driver needed any medical attention and Beacham replied, saying he was alright. He also told officers he had fallen asleep when they asked about what happened.
When a deputy noticed Beacham had handcuffs on his belt and asked why, he replied, “Yeah, I’m a captain with the sheriff’s office, man.”
A deputy replied, “Oh, oh, sh-t, I’m sorry, man,”
“You gotta do your job man,” Beacham said.
Then the 24-year veteran of the force who oversees the Community Justice and Rehabilitation Division was allowed to leave without undergoing a medical evaluation or sobriety test.
Instead, the deputy gave Beacham a fist-bump and told him, “You’re good, just leave, this didn’t happen.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told WFTV9 that after waking up, the driver showed “no signs of impairment or further concerns to deputies.” Adding, “A sheriff’s office spokesperson said every situation is unique, and it is ultimately the deputy’s discretion based on training and experience.” Citing health privacy laws, the spokesperson declined to share more details about the captain’s condition the day of the incident.
The statement continued, “The deputies cleared the event based on the circumstances they witnessed and their interactions on scene.”