Florida Cop Sentenced to Jail for Pulling Gun on Couple with Baby
Florida sheriff’s deputy Sheila Langlais lost her cool and pulled a gun on an unassuming couple in a car with a 2-year-old in the back seat.
Now the Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy is out of a job and will spend nearly a year in jail in addition to paying a $500 fine.
The embattled deputy has resigned from three law enforcement agencies since 2001.
It all went down on February 7 when Brett Dowd and his fiancee, Brittany Byrne, were driving in the parking lot of Twin Lakes apartment complex to visit friends for a cookout.
As Byrne was driving, she pulled into a parking spot as you normally would.
But the off-duty deputy was also pulling into the spot, which is when all hell broke loose, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Langlais began shouting profanities to Byrne and Dowd, who shouted profanities back.
That was when Langais pulled out her pistol, pointing it at the couple, all while their 2-year-old child was in the backseat.
After apparently gaining some sort of satisfaction from pointing her gun at innocent people, Langlais then drove off.
The couple called police and gave a description of the gun-touting suspect and the vehicle. Police located Langlais’s vehicle within minutes in the complex parking lot.
Subsequently, Langlais was located in a nearby apartment.
As police investigated, Langlais denied carrying a gun. But investigators found Langlais’s gun inside the apartment of a fellow deputy named Sarah Swanner, whom Langlais was visiting that day.
In a last ditch effort to avoid being fired, Langlais resigned the next day.
Even Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri weighed in on the situation:
“She made a very, very bad decision. I wouldn’t even call it a mistake. It’s a lie. It’s not a mistake.”
The trial concluded on Friday, resulting in Langlais being sentenced to eleven months in county jail.
She was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, but a jury found her guilty of two misdemeanor counts of improper exhibition of a firearm. Pinellas Circuit Judge William Burgess III dismissed one count citing double jeopardy.
Langlais began her career with the Tarpon Springs Police Department in 2000, but resigned a year later after it was discovered that she was having a romantic relationship with a sergeant in her department.
She also got the Tarpon Springs Police Department sued after Langlais wrongfully arrested a man and had him sitting in jail for 39 days. The department eventually settled that lawsuit for $7,000.
In 2001 Langlais joined the Pinellas Park Police Department, but resigned in 2005 after she refused to end a high speed pursuit the way her supervisor instructed her to.