FORT LAUDERDALE— Darryl Hodges, a decorated Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputy, was recently presented with his department’s highest recognition despite having been investigated for allegedly twice exposing himself and masturbating in front of a co-worker.
Hodges was one of three recipients of the BSO’s Golden Cross Award during a March 25 ceremony for fatally shooting a fleeing suspect who was trying to run him over with a vehicle.
The sexual misconduct, which is alleged to have taken place in 2007 and 2008 was investigated in 2009 and was not sustained.
BSO’s media relations office did not respond to requests to interview Hodges and the woman. In a statement he provided to internal affairs investigators, Hodges denied the allegations.
“Hodges stated that although he never masturbated in [woman’s name redacted] presence, he did jokingly say to her, while he was behind her in one of the [Port Everglades security checkpoint] booths, that he “was pleasuring himself,” according to the internal affairs investigation report summary.
Hodges admitted asking the woman to go out with him but said they never did. He also described her as being “friendly” and said her reputation was “not a good one.”
South Florida Times is not identifying the woman, a black Community Service Aide (CSA), whose account to investigators and prosecutors differed from what Hodges told them. She did notify a supervisor about one of the incidents at the time it allegedly happened but said she did not want to file a formal complaint out of fear of losing her job.
“CSA [woman’s name redacted] stated she did not want to be the person who ‘snitched’ on him, because of what she referred to as ‘the deputies against the CSA’s,’” the internal affairs investigation summary said. “She stated that if she told of Hodges’ behavior, the command would take his side and fire her.”
According the case file, an investigation was launched after BSO Sgt. Joseph Fitzpatrick drove through a check point manned by Hodges and a different community service aide and noticed they were acting “odd.” While speaking to other deputies about it, Fitzpatrick was told about allegations that Hodges had exposed himself to a woman.
According to Fitzpatrick’s account, he spoke to Hodges about the allegations and noticed he never denied them. Instead, Fitzpatrick said, Hodges began staring at the floor and crying. Fitzpatrick said he attempted to get counseling for Hodges and then turned the information over to Internal Affairs. The woman provided a videotaped statement and gave details of the alleged incidents. Based on her insistence that she did not want to pursue the matter and uncertainty about the exact dates, the Broward State Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the case.
“Therefore, based on [name redacted] failure to report these incidents at or near the time they occurred, the lapse of time between the incidents and the investigation, the uncertainty as to the time-frame they occurred, including the statute of limitations prohibiting the prosecution of the allegation of the 2007 incident, there being no other witnesses or physical evidence to corroborate [name redacted] allegations, her repeated reluctance to pursue any administrative or criminal action against Deputy Hodges, and there being no other employees or civilians reporting similar behavior by Deputy Hodges, no criminal charges will be filed,” Assistant State Attorney Michael Horowitz wrote in his November 2009 memo closing the investigation.
According to statements the woman provided to investigators, she alleged that she and Hodges were working in a security checkpoint booth at Port Everglades in 2007. She alleged that Hodges showed her a picture of his genitalia on his cell phone. She gave the phone back to him and voiced her displeasure, she said. She alleged that she heard him unzip his pants and, when she turned around, he was masturbating, and she demanded that he stop.
“Why, it’s not big enough for you,” she alleged Hodges asked, before apologizing and stating, “This is just between us.”
She said she told co-workers about the alleged incident but did not file a complaint.
The woman alleged that the second incident occurred in 2008, when, Hodges came into the booth where she was working. She alleged that he unzipped his pants and started masturbating. He would zip up his pants when a vehicle approached the checkpoint and then resume masturbating after it passed, she told investigators.
This time, the woman said, she sent a text message to BSO Sgt. James Harrison, who was a supervisor at Port Everglades at the time, informing him of what was taking place. Harrison, she said, responded with a text message that he was on his way to the booth.
Harrison told investigators he never saw Hodges at the booth. However, he said, a check of security surveillance tapes showed Hodges’ squad car was parked outside of the booth just prior to him arriving there.
Harrison, who is now an Internal Affairs investigator, never discussed the woman’s allegation with Hodges and did not report it to Internal Affairs.
“I remember telling one other person and I don’t know if it was Linda [Deshane, a supervisor] or not,” Harrison said. “It…, but I remember telling somebody about it saying I didn’t like it and I know we talked about it and says well what do you think we should do. And again we came up with well there’s nothing we can do.”
Pictured Above: Deputy Darryl Hodges, left, and Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, right. Below is Deputy Darryl Hodges.