Deputy Scot Peterson Arrested For Failure At Parkland Shooting

Former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson was arrested on charges related to his failure to do his job during the massacre.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – The former Broward deputy who hid outside instead of engaging the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was arrested on Tuesday afternoon for failure to protect children that day.

Retired Broward Deputy Scot Peterson was charged with seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury, WPLG reported.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said the arrest came after 15-months of investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Broward State’s Attorney’s Office, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

FDLE Spokeswoman Jessica Cary said the investigation determined that then-Deputy Peterson failed to investigate the origin of the gunshots, hid while the gunman was still shooting, and told arriving first responders to stay 500 feet away from the building where the massacre was happening.

Peterson was taken into custody on June 4 following an administrative discipline hearing at the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz said six of the seven child neglect charges were second-degree felonies, but the seventh count was a third-degree felony because the child was not badly injured, WPLG reported.

Satz said both the perjury and culpable negligence charges were first- and second-degree misdemeanors.

Peterson was given a $102,000 bond, with conditions that required him to wear a GPS monitor, surrender his passport, and give up his firearms, according to WPLG.

The former deputy is facing up to 97 years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Peterson resigned from the Broward Sheriff’s Office shortly after the Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre at the Parkland high school left 17 students and staff dead, and another 17 wounded.

Initially, then-Broward Sheriff Scott Israel heralded the SRO for his bravery after a former student went on a shooting spree inside a classroom building.

But then surveillance video from the school and recordings of police radio transmissions revealed that the man charged with protecting the students had hidden outside the building until long after the shooting stopped.

Instead of going into the building to confront the gunman, Sheriff Israel said that surveillance video and witness interviews showed that Deputy Peterson took up a position outside the door to the freshman building that was under attack, but never went inside, WPXI reported.

Eight days after the shootings, Sheriff Israel announced that he had suspended Deputy Peterson and the school resource officer resigned shortly thereafter.

Peterson was uncooperative with the FDLE investigation and failed to appear before the investigating commission when he was subpoenaed.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission’s report concluded that there was “overwhelming evidence that Deputy Peterson knew that the gunshots were coming from within or within the immediate area of Building 12” but found no evidence to support his assertion that he “attempted to investigate the source of the gunshots.”

Peterson submitted a 14-page rebuttal with his side of the story to the investigating commission in May that the commission’s chairman, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, called “a fairy tale.”

The disgraced deputy claimed he had been made a “personal and political scapegoat” by former Sheriff Israel, WFOR reported.

But families of victims think that Peterson hasn’t suffered nearly enough and hope he feels the full weight of the law.

"Certainly not disappointed and not surprised. He needs to rot," said Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered at Parkland. "He has continued to abuse the families by continuing to lie about how he failed my child and 16 others. He deserves to rot. He is responsible in large part for my why my daughter is gone and I have no sympathy for him, I’m glad he’s been arrested."

In February, a state lawmaker proposed legislation that would strip Peterson of his $104, 424 annual pension.

Comments (19)
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xl4jc
xl4jc

Israel needs to follow suit, along with that woman captain who told her deputies to stand down.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

While I agree that this guy is a pussy and figured he’d ride out his last few years at a school and retire, I don’t see how he can be prosecuted. Clearly a scapegoat. How about Israel and that do nothing, promotes far beyond her means Captain.

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

"Retired Broward Deputy Scot Peterson"

Retired should be replaced with "Disgraced" and "Coward".

I saw this on the news last night and I strongly believe he should have been charged a long time ago for this. We see instances where civilians run toward danger to attempt to subdue or rescue during these instances. This person, because I can't call him a man, who swore an oath to protect and serve, ran away when he should have ran toward. How many casualties he could have saved from this attacker, even if it was only one, would have been enough.

Coward, coward, coward, coward, coward!!!!! He's no brother of mine!

Rayb
Rayb

This will be a waste of time.. he was trying to stay safe so he could retire and collect his pension.. probably should have eaten his gun after this incident...his life’s over anyway..

TX-Sheepd0g
TX-Sheepd0g

The odds of winning a gunfight between a Carbine rifle and a pistol is unlikely, it is actually SUICIDE! I don't care how much Active Shooter Training you received if the bad guy has more ammunition and more firepower and you don't have the element of surprise the chances of you winning that fight is almost slim to none. On top of that, the deputy only had a level 3 body armor which is no match for a 223 or 556. So the deputy was at a disadvantage. Let's put this in a different perspective you can have a better understanding. Let’s say you received a call of an Active Swords-Man in the school and the Sheriff's Department only issued you a pocket knife, are you going to save all those kids with your pocket knife taking out the sword-man? Do you think you can win that fight? Are you willing to lay your life down for others knowing there is a HIGH chance you’re not going to make it out alive? Too many Kool-aid Hypocrites and Rambo critics on social media demonizing this deputy. Last but not least, The deputy is going to win his case because of numerous case-laws. The Police do not have a legal duty to protect citizens.

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

Throw the book at him.

Paul Kersey Jr.
Paul Kersey Jr.

Gonzales v. Castle Rock, DeShaney v. Winnebago County - this is an unprosecutable case. A dumbass PR move by the FDLE. Other deputies and cops refused to enter the building, scumbag though this guy is, how did he become the lone scapegoat? Another deputy was fired from this same incident. People can't seem to accept reality on this. It's like mass hypnosis or hysteria.