Deputy resigns after battery arrest
A Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy resigned last week after he allegedly kicked his live-in girlfriend in the mouth following an argument, according to an internal CCSO investigation.
Russell Jon Uebelacker, 44, of Fort Myers, was charged with one count of battery in connection with the incident, which took place Sept. 22 at his south Fort Myers home. Internal affairs investigators found that Uebelacker violated the Sheriff’s Office’s operations manual after a “preponderance” of evidence pointed to him committing the act of battery, the report states, although Uebelacker had not been found guilty in a court of law.
The internal affairs investigation was completed Sept. 24, and Uebelacker resigned Oct. 2, before any action could be taken by Sheriff Bill Cameron. According to CCSO spokesman Bob Carpenter, a “termination of appointment” was in the process of being sent to Uebelacker, but he resigned before the letter was served.
Uebelacker could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The report states Uebelacker and the victim had been arguing the night of the incident over past relationships Uebelacker had with other women.
When he went to bed that night, the victim crept into the bedroom and attempted to remove his cellphone from his shorts to see if he had been in contact with these women, but he awoke suddenly and kicked her in the mouth, the report states.
Uebelacker reportedly blamed his actions on “night terrors,” noting past occasions in which he pushed the victim in her sleep and slapped her in the head. The report states Uebelacker also would make growling sounds in his sleep and put his hands up in a defensive position when the victim would try to wake him. The victim told authorities that Uebelacker’s night terrors do not always make him violent, citing a time when he crawled around in a closet making animal noises. The report states the victim also told authorities that she believed Uebelacker never intentionally harmed her when suffering from night terrors.
Uebelacker told investigators he thought he had kicked the victim in the hip, but did so to defend himself. He said the victim had jumped on him and clawed his face, and he kicked her to protect himself.
Using the 911 call, and testimony from both Uebelacker and the victim, internal affairs investigators determined that his actions were not a result of night terrors, and he was awake and alert of his actions at the time of the kick.
Uebelacker was released from the Lee County Jail on Sept. 22 on $2,500 bond. According to the Lee County Sheriff’s website, he has a court date scheduled for Oct. 16.