Hillsborough Deputy Resigns After Using Pepper Spray at Elementary School
She had been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation of the incident at Lopez Elementary School.
SEFFNER – A deputy resigned in the midst of an internal investigation in connection with her unauthorized use of pepper spray while on duty at an elementary school, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
School Security Deputy Patricia Parker, 56, resigned Wednesday (Oct. 10) morning. The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office originally hired Parker in May 1990. She retired May, 1,2015, but was re-hired this past July as a temporary contract employee to serve as a school security deputy.
Parker had been on administrative leave while the department conducted an investigation into an incident Tuesday (Oct. 9) when she deployed her O.C. spray while on duty at Lopez Elementary School in Seffner. (Click here for related story.)
Deputies said that, around lunch time, Parker was speaking with four students who were inquisitive about the gear she was wearing on her belt. Three other children were seated near by.
Parker took out her can of OC spray and sprayed the chemical, which is an ingredient in pepper spray, onto a napkin. The pressure of the stream hitting the napkin caused some over spray that came into contact with the children, resulting in minor discomfort. All seven children were seen by the school nurse and required no further medical aid.
“I am grateful these students were not seriously hurt. This was a teachable moment with some impressionable children who look up to us and our deputy failed to meet the most minimum of our expectations,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “This was an extreme lack of judgement and by resigning this morning, she recognized that as well.”
Chronister said he called each of the parents of the four children involved in this matter to check on their welfare and express his concerns.
Hillsborough Sheriff | Pepper Spray | Lopez Elementary School | Tampabay News
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