Deputy Do-Wrong

Page 6 of 7

Doane's short tenure with BSO was consistent with his past behavior. Among several other sustained complaints against him, Doane was suspended for conduct unbecoming an officer after he and 17 other deputies attended a drunken bachelor party at a Holiday Inn in Palm Beach County that ended in public vomiting and a vandalized squad car. Several guests asked for refunds.

On Christmas Eve 1999, Doane ended his career and his life in a reckless race to a crime scene — a drive that easily could have left others dead. Doane had been booking a DUI suspect at the main jail in downtown Fort Lauderdale when a radio dispatcher announced that a deputy had been shot outside a café in Lauderdale Lakes. Although the incident was seven miles north, Doane asked someone to watch his prisoner and sped away. A subsequent BSO investigation estimated he was driving about 80 mph on State Road 7. Breaking BSO policy, he ran red lights without pausing and wasn't wearing a seat belt. As he barreled through a red light, he swerved to miss a car entering the intersection, lost control, and crashed into a concrete pole. He died 12 days later.

Despite Doane's life-endangering recklessness, Jenne declared him a hero, orchestrating a funeral held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, attended by 3,000 cops. The ceremony even included an eight-helicopter flyover in "missing man" formation.

Ultimately, though, BSO paid Kollin's client $19,000 in June 2003 in order to settle the lawsuit, but the case still makes Kollin's blood boil. "How many Doanes are in BSO?" he asks. Pondering the Lewis Perry case, he adds, "We have history repeating itself, a person improperly hired."

Germán Gomez made a newcomer's mistake on the evening he was shot. In a complex of look-alike façades, he and his cousin wandered into the wrong doorway. As the two fiddled with a key that didn't fit, an anxious neighbor noticed the men and called 911 about a possible burglary. Unfortunately for Gomez, Perry responded to that call.

Gomez's memory about that evening is shifty and unreliable because of his head wound. His cousin, Javier Dominguez, who's not living in South Florida now, told Kubiliun that the pair had their hands raised when Perry and Richard Mosca stopped them at the entrance of the apartment complex. As Mosca was cuffing Dominguez, they both heard a gunshot but didn't see what happened.

Two weeks after the shooting, Perry gave a statement to BSO investigators in which he claimed that his gun went off accidentally after Gomez bumped his arm. Perhaps only Perry knows what really happened. Judging from his statement, however, Perry's actions were consistent with his past.

When he arrived on the scene, Perry told investigators, he stepped out of his squad car, stood behind the door, and ordered them to stop. They kept walking toward his direction, so he drew his semi-automatic Glock handgun — despite having no reason to believe they were armed.

Perry told investigators that the scene was well-lighted and that he could see their hands. The investigator asked Perry if he could see if they were carrying anything. "I couldn't see if there's anything in their hands," Perry replied.

Moments later, the investigator asked, "OK, did they have any weapons in their hands that you could see?"

This time, Perry responded, "I did not see any weapons in their hands."

At the scene, Perry didn't communicate with Mosca, who'd arrived shortly after him. Mosca told investigators that he'd unfastened his holster but never drew his gun. He refastened the holster because he didn't want the suspects to get hold of the gun in the event of a struggle.

Perry wasn't so cautious. He told investigators he walked up behind Gomez, aiming his gun at him but keeping his finger outside the trigger guard. He shoved Gomez with his left hand. Gomez then turned around, and his arm hit Perry's right arm, and the gun went off, Perry claims.

"The first thing I remember going through my head is like, holy fuck, my gun just went off, you know, and then I looked and he was still standing for a second, so, like, you know, thank God I didn't hit him," Perry said. "And then I noticed he fell down on the ground."

Asked why he and Mosca didn't talk and coordinate the takedown, Perry said: "You know, Monday morning quarterback, there probably should have been more of that, but in the heat of the moment with everything going on and to tally everything up that I was facing, it's just the way it went down."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Wyatt Olson
Contact: Wyatt Olson