2 Melbourne officers on paid leave after accusations of sex assault, use of force


MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Melbourne Police Department said two of its officers are under investigation.

Lt. Pete Mercaldo is accused of sexual assault and is on paid administrative leave while Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates, according to a news release from police.

Police said Officer Christopher Eisen has been placed on paid administrative leave and is under a criminal investigation on accusations of using excessive force during an arrest. 

“I am committed to safeguarding the integrity of the Melbourne Police Department. We absolutely will not tolerate these types of activities and will be thorough and relentless when allegations such as these arise," said Chief Steve Mimbs in a release. "We will not allow these issues to overshadow the great work done on a daily basis by the men and women of Melbourne Police Department. The Melbourne Police Department will continue to be committed to having a transparent relationship with the community we serve.” 

Other Melbourne officers have also faced trouble in recent weeks. Shawn Archbold was arrested in March during an undercover investigation after police say he tried to pay a prostitute $40 to have sex with him while he was on duty.

Sgt. Jeffrey VanGilder resigned from the department after allegations surfaced including drinking on the job and asking an employee to see nude pictures of his wife.