NAPLES — An eight-year veteran of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office was fired recently after an internal investigation revealed he lied about entering a man’s home, and then drove away with the man on the tailgate of his truck.
Cpl. John R. Sperrazza of the Sheriff’s Office’s Vice and Narcotics Bureau was hired on Nov. 14, 2000, and earned $55,940 per year, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Karie Partington said. The date he was fired was not immediately clear.
On May 7, 2008 Saint Jean Breme and his son Rikateson Breme told authorities that they were sitting at the dining room table when they heard their front door knob turn and open, according to a recently completed internal investigation. They said Sperrazza put his foot in the door before Rikateson Breme stood up to confront him.
Rikateson Breme went outside to talk to Sperrazza, reports said. When Saint Jean Breme went out to see what was going on, he said Sperrazza told him he needed to talk to his son, but that Rikateson was not under arrest.
After giving Saint Jean Breme his business card, Sperrazza put down the tailgate of his truck, and drove away with Rikateson Breme sitting on it without handcuffs.
Rikateson Breme also told investigators that in past encounters with the corporal, Sperrazza said that he had “two sharp shooters ready on my command to take you out,” offered him a job as a “snitch,” and looked through his cell phone and laughed at his photos. Rikateson Breme said Sperrazza once told him “I didn’t know you spoke dolphin,” a comment that Breme, who speaks Creole, perceived as racist, authorities said.
During an internal interview, Sperrazza denied offering Rikateson Breme a job or telling him “I didn’t know you spoke dolphin.”
He said that when he approached the house, he had probable cause for arrest, reports said. He said he walked toward the house, opened the latched gate and entered the yard, but did not enter the home.
Instead, Rikateson Breme came running out of the house to see him, Sperrazza told investigators.
So as not to embarrass Rikateson Breme in front of his father, Sperrazza told investigators he drove him away in the bed of his truck, and met up with a marked Sheriff’s Office vehicle about 100 yards away. According to reports, Sperrazza said he felt he had done Rikateson Breme a “solid” favor by not placing him in handcuffs or having him picked up by a marked patrol vehicle.
A polygraph examination revealed that Sperrazza was deceptive when asked about entering the Breme’s home. He later said he could have opened the door, but didn’t recall if he entered the home.
He was investigated for carelessness in duty performance, conduct unbecoming, being negligent or in non-compliance with Sheriff’s Office rules and regulations, and being discourteous.
Attempts to reach Sperrazza for comment Friday were unsuccessful.