Steve Leigh: Criminal
no - not quite
I was arrested. I'll tell the story, and try to be as brief as possible.
At 11:00pm on Christmas Eve, 2004, my neighborhood sounded like a war zone. This happens every year, on every holiday. No holiday is exempt. Typically, the festivities begin about 3 days before and last until about 3 days after the holidays.
Fireworks. Celebration. Smashing beer bottles. Gunfire. Chaos. Screaming kids running around the street, lighting devices the size of small garbage cans. Drunken adults lighting devices the size of large garbage cans. "Bottle rockets" approximately 18" long, 1-2" in diameter. Once, a rocket went sideways, and set part of my front yard on fire. Fortunately, it didn't break through my front window.
Years back, my former neighbors chronically smashed their beer bottles against their side of my wooden privacy fence. I didn't realize it right away. I discovered it when part of my fence broke apart.
Busch Gardens is about 5-7 miles away. They set off fireworks bombs that can be seen and heard here clearly.
What a waste of money. Skyrocket garbage all over my yard. Burned fireworks debris in my trees, bushes, on my roof. Who has to clean this up? Me.
I live in the county. To the best of my knowledge, there are no laws against firing a weapon here. There is a city ordinance, which prohibits discharging a firearm within city limits, but I don't live in the city limits.
At about 11:00pm I loaded my shotgun with three blank rounds, and I contributed to the noise.
I fired the three blanks, one after another, aimed at the ground, approximately five feet in front of me. This occurred in my back yard, just outside my screen room door. I retrieved the three fired blank cases, (which were clearly marked "BLANK") and put them in my pocket.
I've been firing blanks here for over 21 years with the dog training - literally thousands of blanks. Never a word or problem from anyone.
Ironically, almost all the blanks which I used for many years were supplied to me by local K9 officers. The three blanks I fired on the night of my arrest were given to me by Hillsborough County K9 officers.
On this particular evening, I was not training dogs. I had closed my business in August, 2002. I was making Christmas noise.
Soon thereafter, at about 11:17pm, two Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived. They did not park in my driveway, they parked one house away, all lights off, on the side of the street. I was unaware that they were here.
The deputies were outside my locked gates, on my driveway, in the dark. The porch of my office is approximately 75' away from the gates. My porch spotlights were on. I was completely visible.
I had previously laid down my shotgun. My hands were empty. I was on my office porch, looking for a rag and a can of WD40 to wipe off the shotgun.
Suddenly, their screaming terrified me. Their flashlights blinded me. They jumped over my chain link fences. Their guns were drawn and pointed at me. They gave me orders to freeze, show my hands, and lay facedown on my porch.
I did exactly as I was ordered. No resistance. No argument.
While I was facedown on my porch, my head was stepped on for approximately 20-30 minutes by the tough one, the "gun deputy", as I was being frisked, handcuffed, and questioned.
His name is Deputy T. Boyd, HCSO ID #6615
With his police boot, Boyd bent and broke my eyeglasses beyond any further use. I requested that he remove his boot from my head and face. Boyd ignored my request.
During questioning, my answers were supplied by the deputies. When I tried to answer their questions, they talked right over me.
I was advised that I was under arrest by the deputy that was not stepping on my head.
His name is Deputy M. Kuettner, HCSO ID #7117
Boyd, the "gun deputy", was still pointing his gun at me, while I lay facedown, handcuffed on my porch. His police boot was still pressing down on my head and face.
My shotgun and 3 empty shotgun cases were taken as evidence by Kuettner.
The deputies demanded my identification, which was inside my home. Boyd, the "gun deputy" put his gun back in its holster.
I was then ordered to stand. I stood. Boyd proudly showed me the submachinegun which was across his chest, and explained how I narrowly missed being shot and killed with it.
I was physically "assisted" (manhandled) into my house, where Boyd, the "gun deputy", immediately pulled out his gun again, pointed it at my dog, and threatened to shoot and kill my dog. I was ordered to lock my dog in a bedroom. I followed his instructions.
After several ignored requests, I was permitted to lock my home before being transported to the nearby District 1 sheriff sub-station at approximately 12:15am.
Kuettner loosened my handcuffs when I illustrated that both of my hands were blue, due to the pressure of the handcuffs. I requested to use a restroom. About an hour later, he permitted me to use a restroom.
I had to wait to be transported to the central booking location. My second request to use a restroom was ignored.
At the central booking location, I willingly, happily submitted to a blood alcohol breath test, known as BAC - Blood Alcohol Content. I offered to submit to blood and/or urine tests also.
The blood alcohol breath test was administered by a female deputy. When the testing machine ejected the paper with the results on it, she stated that I was not intoxicated. This was ignored by Kuettner.
I was very polite, and wished her a Merry Christmas. I mentioned it was sad she had to work on a major holiday.
I was also polite to Kuettner. I wished him a Merry Christmas, and added it would be nice if he could be at home, with his family, for the holiday.
I was completely sober. I drank one (12 oz.) beer with dinner at about 5:00pm, and opened a second (12 oz.) beer at approximately 11:00pm. I drank approximately one half of the second beer prior to firing the three blanks near my back door. The half full bottle was visible on my desk when I retrieved my identification in the presence of both deputies.
The deputy reports contain conflicting statements. Several of their statements are utterly, literally impossible.
The black eye, scrapes, and bruises on my face are a result of Deputy T. Boyd, HCSO ID #6615. They occurred while his police boot was applied to my head and face. The cuts on my nose and between my eyes occurred when Boyd broke my eyeglasses with his police boot.
But who really gives a shit? Page down.
first note: I edited five places with the word PRIVATE.
I prefer that some of my personal information remain private, in hopes of preventing identity theft.
second note: my weight is incorrectly listed as 140. I have never weighed 140 in my entire life. [still accurate in 2013]
I weighed 104 pounds at my arrest.
|The data on this site provides only arrest and booking information and should not be relied upon to determine an individual's actual criminal record. This data may not reflect charging decisions made by the State Attorney's Office or the outcome of criminal trials. An acquittal or dismissal of a criminal charge does not necessarily negate the validity of an arrest. To obtain the final disposition of any criminal charges, contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court.|
Name: LEIGH,STEPHEN DOB: PRIVATE Booking #: 04079463 Arrest Date: 12/24/04 Race: W Sex: M Ethnicity: N
| HOW TO:
|NAME||BOOKING NO.||PIN NUMBER|
|STATUS - *RELEASED*||250.00||.00||.00||.00|
|EYES||HAIR||BUILD||CURRENT AGE||HEIGHT||WEIGHT||SOID||SOID NAME|
|OBTS||CAUTION IND||CAUTION REMARKS|
|ALIASES||DATE OF BIRTH||SOC SEC NUMBER|
|NEXT OF KIN||ADDRESS||RELATIONSHIP|
|ARREST AGNCY||ARREST DATE||ARREST TIME||BOOK DATE||BOOK TIME|
|DOES NOT OCCUPY A CELL - RELEASED ON: 12/25/04 AT 03:46 - REL: CASH BOND|
|NO.||CHARGE DESCRIPTION||CLASS||COURT||DISP||BOND||BP||FINE||CUSTODY DAYS||CHARGE COUNT||CHARGE TYPE|
|1||USE OF FIREARM WHILE INTOXICATED (ALCOHOL)||M2||41B||250.00||B||1||1||PC|
|REPORT #||CT-CASE #||DATE||AGENCY||OBTS NUMBER||CHARGE CODE||CRA NUMBER|