A Florida cop was drunk at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport when he pushed a flight attendant and claimed he couldn’t get arrested because he is a police officer. But the officer did get arrested.
On November 9 at 6:30 p.m. Sarasota Police Department Officer Derrick Gilbert, 51, was trying to fly to Greensboro, N.C. from Clearwater, FL, with his son, Tai, 18, on Allegiant Airlines.
When Gilbert boarded his flight, he was slurring his words, his eyes were glassy blood shot, and he seemed “confused,” authorities say. Gilbert was also too drunk to find his seat, WFLA News reports.
Allegiant Airlines has a zero tolerance policy on flying intoxicated, so when flight attendants asked Gilbert to leave the flight, he initially refused and began yelling profanities. About 133 passengers were waiting for the flight to take off when the altercation occurred.
Gilbert eventually left the plane, but not before pushing 25-year-old flight attendant Kelby Oats. Gilbert also pushed his own son and violently grabbed him by the neck.
Deputies from The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene to find Gilbert yelling profanities and refusing to leave the ramp from the plane to the terminal. Deputies told Gilbert that if he didn’t leave the airport, he’d be arrested for trespassing. Gilbert responded by saying that he couldn’t be arrested because he was a Sarasota police officer.
Gilbert was arrested and charged with one count of battery, one count of domestic battery and one count of trespassing. Gilbert is being held on bond totaling $1,400. Sarasota Police Department said in a release that it had put Gilbert on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Per the incident Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino says:
> “We hold our Officers to the highest standard of both professionalism on and off duty. I’ve instructed our Internal Affairs Division to conduct a through investigation. We will diligently investigate this incident per our policies.”
Gilbert has been an officer with the Sarasota Police Department for 21 years. In 2012, he was accused of slamming a homeless man’s head into a wall.