Lake County deputy fired for 'reckless behavior' in 'Training Day' incident

Colleagues say he waved weapon around in public

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A Lake County deputy was fired for "reckless behavior" for waving his gun around in public.

A supervisor said the deputy posed a "serious safety concern to citizens and other deputies," according to an internal affairs investigative report obtained by News 6.

Deputy Dean Zipes had his department issued handgun in one hand  and a Taser in the other, according to colleagues who witnessed the incident.

He also recited lines and re-enacted a scene from the movie "Training Day," starring Denzel Washington, according to the report.

In the movie, Washington plays a crooked LAPD officer.

In one scene, Washington confronts a suspected rapist and points two guns back and forth from his chest to straight out in front of him, then rubs the weapons together.

News 6 uncovered video from a Lake County deputy's patrol car that shows Zipes re-enacting the scene using his Taser and department-issued weapon.

The incident happened in the parking lot of the Sheriff's Office substation in Minneola, according to the report.

A deputy in training who witnessed it reported "Deputy Tammy Peshek was upset that Deputy Zipes would act in an unsafe manner.”

“And in public where a civilian could drive by and witness it," Peshek said during an interview with a supervisor after the incident.

It happened in February, and News 6 has learned Zipes was already under investigation "for pulling his firearm out of his holster twice in an office setting and using racial slurs," according to the internal affairs report.

In another incident, a deputy reported being in the break room when Zipes "pulled his weapon out of his holster, pointed it at the glass
windows and stated he never got to shoot the gun," according to the report.

Zipes was terminated April 21st for harassment, on duty use of a firearm, and other violations, according to the report.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.