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She wanted to call 911. DCF investigator smashed cellphones to stop her, cops say.

A Florida Department of Children and Families investigator was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2018, on a simple battery charge after Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies say he smashed four cell phones so his former live-in girlfriend could not call 911.
A Florida Department of Children and Families investigator was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2018, on a simple battery charge after Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies say he smashed four cell phones so his former live-in girlfriend could not call 911. File photo

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies say a Florida Department of Children and Families investigator tackled his former live-in girlfriend to the ground Wednesday and destroyed four cellphones in the house to prevent her from calling 911.

Andrew Barratt Weader, 29, was arrested shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday on criminal mischief, hindering law enforcement and simple battery charges. He was released at 2:30 p.m. His bond information was not immediately available.

DCF has placed Weader on administrative leave, agency spokeswoman Beatriz Lopez said in a statement Thursday.

“The Department of Children and Families has the highest standards and expectations for our employees and does not tolerate inappropriate or violent behavior,” Lopez said. “This employee has been placed on administrative leave while the department takes administrative action toward dismissal.”

Weader, who could not be reached for comment, was hired in March 2014. His annual salary is $37,620.

According to Deputy Joel Torres’ arrest affidavit, the woman had gone to Weader’s house in the Upper Florida Keys because he said he would give her $35 he owed her. The woman told Torres that Weader asked her to come to bed with him, but she refused and asked for the money, according to the report.

The sheriff’s office did not release Weader’s address or mug shot. By Florida law, addresses, phone numbers and other personal information for law enforcement officers, including DCF investigators, are not made public.

Weader would not give her the money, and the woman grabbed his cellphone from the bed, Torres wrote. After she refused to give the phone back to Weader, he tackled her to the bed, and then to the floor in the hallway when she freed herself from the bedroom, according to the affidavit.

The woman told deputies Weader smashed the phone and then went around the house destroying other phones so she could not call the police. She found a cellphone in the home without service, but she was able to dial 911 on it, Torres wrote. Weader also smashed the key fob to the woman’s car, both he and the woman told deputies, according to the report.

Deputies found the damaged phones when they arrived at the house, Torres wrote..

“At least four cellular phones were found in the residence, one of the phones belonging to [the woman], and each of which was grossly damaged and rendered non-functional,” Torres stated in his report.

Weader told deputies he smashed the woman’s phone, but denied hitting or touching her, according to the arrest report.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.


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