Updated: Apr 30, 2016 – 12:17 AM
An Orange County deputy seen on cellphone video berating a tow-truck driver and flashing her badge as he towed her illegally parked vehicle was previously disciplined for similar accusations.
Channel 9 obtained Deputy Tracy Weiss’ disciplinary record, which revealed Weiss was suspended in 2008 for violating OCSO’s use of authority policy.
Weiss was suspended for 21 hours without pay after she was accused of acting inappropriately regarding a business arrangement, the Sheriff’s Office’s said.
The deputy, whom OCSO has employed for 11 years, was reassigned after the confrontation Tuesday night.
The deputy was off-duty when her pickup truck was towed because it was blocking a sidewalk. Officials confirmed she was armed during the exchange.
“Give me my truck. You’re illegally stealing my truck,” Weiss said to the driver, who was recording the incident.
Channel 9 obtained cellphone video from Universal Towing that shows a portion of a heated exchange at Starlight Ranch Retirement Community between Weiss and the driver.
“I am a cop. You’re going to (expletive) jail for stealing my car,” Weiss said in the video.
“I’m not going to jail,” the driver said.
Manager John Cowie showed Channel 9 the signed authorization for his driver to tow the truck. He said it costs $62.50 to get the vehicle back on the spot and the fee doubles if the driver is kept there for more than 15 minutes. Weiss paid the $125 fee.
“If you continue to commit the same type of offense, you’re not learning from your behavior,” said Chuck Drago, a WFTV law-enforcement expert. “Does she have anger issues? Is he stressed out or [have] personal problems? They’re going to look at all those things before they let her go back out on the road.”
OCSO hasn’t said which policies Weiss is accused of violating this time.
Drago said OCSO will likely investigate the possibly of criminal violations since the driver claimed Weiss pulled out her gun.
“Nobody likes to get towed. We understand that. It happens,” Cowie said. “But, if you’re getting towed, just pay the drop fee and move on.”
The company said had the deputy calmly approached the driver and said she was a deputy, he would have given her the truck back free of charge.
The Sheriff’s Office said the incident is being investigated internally and there won’t be a full report until the investigation is complete.