Sheriff lieutenant arrested for obstructing investigation

Officer kicked patrol car windows while demanding to see boss

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A lieutenant with the Orange County Sheriff's Office has been relieved of duty with pay after Apopka police arrested her for obstructing an investigation.

Lt. Tressa Chavis, who has been with the agency for more than 20 years, is accused of interfering with police officers who had been called to Chavis's Apopka home.

Thursday night, Chavis's husband James called 911 complaining that his wife had come home drunk with retired Orange County Undersheriff Malone Stewart.

James Chavis claimed Stewart had threatened to pull a gun out and "blast" him.

When Apopka police officers responded to the couple's home, investigators said Tressa Chavis, who appeared extremely intoxicated, became belligerent and told officers "I'm a lieutenant with the Orange County Sheriff's Office and you can't (expletive) be here!"

According to an arrest report, Lt. Chavis went "chest to chest" with the officer in a threatening manner and refused to move out of the way.

After handcuffing Lt. Chavis and putting her in the backseat of a patrol car, she began kicking the windows and demanding to see the sheriff, according to police.

Officers said they had to restrain Chavis's legs to prevent her from damaging the car and hurting herself.

Stewart, who unsuccessfully ran for sheriff after serving as undersheriff under Kevin Beary, was not charged with any crimes.

According to the police report and audio recordings, Chavis had met with Stewart, who she considered a "mentor," to discuss problems with her job.

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