Deltona woman says deputy ‘put his hands on me;’ sheriff calls claims a ‘blatant lie’

Surveillance video outside Deltona commission shows brief encounter at metal detector

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says it’s seeking to charge a Deltona woman for filing a false report against a deputy alleging that he groped her when sheriff’s office investigators say video and witnesses prove otherwise.

The sheriff’s office filed an arrest affidavit Wednesday against Tammy Stuck, 56, for one count of filing a false allegation, a second-degree misdemeanor. The department also released surveillance video showing the deputy interacting with Stuck at a metal detector on April 22 and footage from the May 17 city commission meeting during which Stuck and her husband made multiple accusations about the encounter.

During the May 17 Deltona City Council meeting, Tammy Stuck spoke during public comment telling commissioners the deputy working at the metal detector on April 22 “put his hands on me, put his hands between my legs.”

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She went on to say she has a “history of trauma” and told members “that metal detector needs to go because you don’t know how many people may have the same history I have that are walking through that door. Nobody but my husband, no man should ever be putting their hands on me.”

Video released by the sheriff’s office from April 22, when Tammy Stuck and her husband went through the metal detectors, shows her setting off the metal detector multiple times outside the commission chambers.

“Oh, I have a metal brace on my leg,” she exclaimed.

Stuck said she had a broken leg during her May 17 comments and had a broken leg when the incident she alleged occurred. According to the incident report, she had on a metal knee brace under her pants.

The deputy in the video can be seen briefly touching Tammy Stuck’s brace near her knee and Tammy Stuck’s husband, Jeffery Stuck, says “get your hands off my wife.” Laughter can be heard in the video but it’s not clear who it is coming from. According to the sheriff’s office affidavit, Tammy Stuck was laughing.

Jeffery Stuck then called the deputy an expletive as he walked into the commission chamber, according to the report.

Video shows Jeffery Stuck approached the deputy after the meeting and told him “you don’t put your hands on my wife like that” and demanded to see the deputy’s badge.

Tammy Stuck told councilmembers on May 17 the touch was “traumatic” and “painful.” Jeffrey Stuck also made similar comments during the public forum.

“Because of his badge and his gun, I couldn’t do a damn thing about it,” Jeffrey Stuck told councilmembers.

The Stucks filed a formal complaint with the sheriff’s office against the deputy on the same day as their public comments.

After reviewing surveillance video and speaking to witnesses, Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the Stucks account was “a blatant lie and a disgusting attempt to ruin a deputy’s career.”

The sheriff’s office said it’s up to the State Attorney’s Office to determine the next steps and if Tammy Stuck will face formal charges.

According to the sheriff, city commissioners sided with the Stucks’ version of events before investigating whether the allegations were true.

“I hope this episode will serve as a wake-up call to those on the Deltona City Commission who were so willing to condemn a deputy’s actions without the facts,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood said Deltona Mayor Heidi Herzberg has since apologized.

“I’m devastated by this attack by the sheriff,” Tammy Stuck said when reached by phone. “I’ve been crying for two days.”

Tammy Stuck alleges the deputy touched her inner thigh, which brought back memories of childhood abuse. She said there should have been a female deputy there to pat down women.

The Deltona woman said she feels like she has been victimized twice and has no previous criminal history.

Tammy Stuck said she had planned to just make a verbal complaint, but a Volusia captain suggested she put it in writing.