OCALA, Fla. – A deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was fired after meeting a woman on the dating app Tinder, spending time with her while he was on duty and sending her a photo of his penis while in uniform, according to a copy of the internal affairs report.
The situation started when the woman was served an eviction notice at her rental home in Citra on Dec. 21, and she happened to ask the sergeant delivering the notice if knew knew a deputy named Dave, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman pulled up a photo on her phone of “Dave,” and the sergeant confirmed that was Deputy Dave Patterson. She told the sergeant she had met Patterson on a dating site in November, and wanted to know “if he was a good guy.”
She went on to discuss how she had “hooked up” with Patterson on Dec. 5, the report said. When asked what that entailed, she said the visit lasted four to five hours, and the pair kissed. Patterson also touched the woman’s breast over her shirt, but she insisted they did not go any further, and it was all consensual.
The woman said Patterson arrived at the home in uniform and was on duty at the time.
A lieutenant checked on Patterson’s activity that day, which is logged through two programs, and nothing showed that the deputy checked in at the Citra home or that he had any reason to. Patterson only responded to one call for service Dec. 5, and that was in Ocala, officials said.
When the lieutenant went to the house herself to serve a subsequent eviction notice, the woman didn’t make any reference to being acquainted with Patterson, like she discussed with the sergeant, the report said.
As the department continued looking into the matter, the woman showed investigators the text messages she and Patterson exchanged. These confirmed they had been together Dec. 5, during work hours. The woman also showed officials a text message Patterson had sent her showing his penis, the report said.
“He’s ready to come see u,” Patterson said, referencing his genitals.
In the photo, it was clear Patterson was wearing his uniform pants and boots at the time. The woman said she received the picture around 4:20 p.m., which is a day Patterson said he worked at least an hour past that point.
Officials said the deputy falsified his time sheet to try and cover his tracks.
When investigators interviewed Patterson, he confirmed that he got together with the woman Dec. 5, they kissed and he touched her breast. He initially said the photo in question was actually an old picture taken off-duty, but finally admitted his time sheet was incorrect.
The report concludes Patterson went to the woman’s home during his shift for nonwork reasons. “Deputy Patterson has brought discredit to himself and the agency while on duty,” it reads.