SEFFNER, FL – Remember the NASCAR driver who pawned his car and showed up at Daytona for the running of the 500 on a pair of rollerblades?
Of course you don’t. Professionals maintain the tool of their trade, to the degree that they become an extension of the individual. Anything less calls into question the professionalism of a person.
The Hillsborough County sheriff says a school resource officer pawned his service weapon and then reported to work with a pellet gun, instead.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said the officer, Leroy King, who was assigned to Mango Elementary School, has been arrested.
The sheriff said the discovery was made when a supervisor performed a standard, random officer check at the school. The supervisor noticed King was not wearing a holstered weapon and began to ask questions.
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King allegedly gave excuses to investigators about why he did not have his weapon, but later confessed he pawned the gun, as well as a ballistic vest and weapon-mounted light assigned to him by the sheriff’s office.
“He was charged with the duty of protecting our most valuable and precious resource, and that’s our children,” Chronister said.
“As a parent, I am disgusted that we have an individual that we have spent time training, that our school security system spent time hiring, with one sole purpose, and that sole purpose was protecting our young people.
As a parent, I am outraged to know that someone given such a monumental task of protecting our children would so carelessly sell the weapon he was provided with to fulfill that purpose. We are fortunate that a catastrophic event did not happen during the time that Leroy King had sold his weapon, but it does not make his actions any less severe.
We will ensure that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for breaking his oath to protect and serve.”
King apparently pawned the weapon and other items six times between the beginning of the school year and the end of November.
King was charged with eight counts of giving false info to a pawnbroker.
“It wasn’t being fixed. It wasn’t broken. It wasn’t left someplace where he was taking target and shooting practice,” Chronister said. “He had pawned that school security issued firearm… assigned to him to protect the children at Mango Elementary.”
An investigation was launched Thursday, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says, after it was discovered he had replaced his duty-issued gun with a toy pellet gun during a random inspection.
Investigators say King pawned his agency-issued ballistic vest on Oct. 18, which deputies say belongs to the Hillsborough County School Security. He signed his name and gave a thumbprint, swearing that the vest belonged to him and was paid $125 for the transaction, deputies say.
On Nov. 2, King is accused of pawning his agency issued TLR1 Streamlight weapon mount light, which also belongs to school security. He was given $50 for the transaction, deputies say.
Deputies say they recovered the pawned ballistic vest and weapon mount light from the pawnshop and gave it back to school security.
King later admitted to pawning his agency-issued Glock Model 22 .40 caliber handgun six different times between June 28 and November 12, the sheriff’s office says. He paid the pawnshop back and got the firearm back, investigators say.
He faces eight felonies for giving false information on a pawnbroker form.
There must be something in the water in Florida.
A Florida police officer has been busted after the agency discovered he pawned department issued firearms, among other items recently, reported NBC Miami.
The now former Hallandale Beach Police Department employee was taken into custody the chief confirmed Friday.
Yan Kleyman faces a charge of dealing in stolen property, Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones said in a video posted to the department’s Facebook page.
Quinones said an internal investigation uncovered that Kleyman conducted pawn transactions with department-issued equipment.
“He’s no longer a member of our police department,” Quinones said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Kleyman conducted 15 separate pawnbroker transactions involving department-issued items between March 2017 and August 2018. Among the items sold were a semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic pistol and laser lights, reported local10.com.
Kleyman was hired by the Hallandale Beach Police Department in November 2011.
“Mr. Kleyman’s alleged actions are not reflective of the dedicated men and women of this agency,” Quinones said.