APOPKA, Fla. – An Osceola County deputy accused of brandishing his department-issued gun during a road-rage incident in Apopka in June has been suspended without pay, according to the Sheriff's Office.
A man told Apopka police that the incident happened as he was driving on North Wekiva Springs Road the afternoon of June 17. He said he drove around a black Toyota that was driving slowly and when he did, the driver started following him while making gestures with his fist, police said.
The alleged victim was driving to work so he called his manager at Froggers Grill & Bar in Apopka and asked him to come out to the parking lot because a vehicle was following him, according to the report.
Police said the driver, Deputy Christopher Blow, followed the man into the Froggers parking lot, got out of his vehicle and approached the man.
"Before anybody gets their (expletive) beat, I would back up," the report quoted Blow as saying to the victim and other Froggers employees.
Police said witnesses told them that Blow told the other driver that if he wants to "drive like an (expletive) he can get his (expletive) beat."
The man told police that he exchanged words with Blow about the road-rage incident, then noticed Blow had a gun in his hand and the finger on the trigger. The man was "scared for his life," the report said.
Blow then left the restaurant before police arrived, according to the report.
An officer who responded to Froggers used a picture a witness had taken of Blow's license plate to help identify Blow, police said.
Blow told police that he was on his way to meet his wife when the other vehicle got in front of him and slammed on his brakes for no reason. Blow also claimed that the other driver made a gun shape with his hand and pointed it at him.
Police said Blow admitted to following the other driver to Froggers so he could confront him about the road-rage incident. He said he pulled out his weapon and identified himself as a law enforcement officer because he felt threatened by the group of people calling him derogatory names, the report said.
Blow said the weapon was pointed at the ground during the encounter, according to police. He added that he didn't think the incident warranted a call to police.
Apopka police said the agency has forwarded a request to the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office recommending that Blow be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. Blow has not been arrested.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said Blow has been with the agency for eight years and has no prior record of formal discipline.
He has been suspended without pay from his position as a school resource officer while agency officials conduct an internal investigation to see if any policies were violated.