A Florida sheriff’s deputy who won statewide honors for bravery in 2016 was fired and arrested on charges that include child neglect and possession of cocaine, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.
Nick Worthy, named the Florida deputy of the year in 2016 and Brevard County’s top deputy in 2015, was arrested Thursday morning along with his girlfriend, identified as Rachel Trexler.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office responded Wednesday night to a complaint about gunfire and a woman screaming. There was no answer at the door, and deputies were unable to make contact with anyone at the house after repeated attempts at communication.
A search warrant was issued Thursday, and deputies found Worthy, Trexler, their 2-year-old child and three dogs, deputies said.
"We got a bang on the door, and it was another police officer advising that we should leave the house because a SWAT team was coming," neighbor Joe Passos said.
In a news conference, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said what was found inside was "extremely disgusting" and "deplorable." He described a house in complete disarray with dog feces, two loaded and unsecured firearms, ammunition, trash, food, plus a small amount of marijuana and cocaine.
There also was evidence inside of gunshots that were consistent with what the neighbors had reported, Ivey said.
Worthy and Trexler were were arrested and face charges of child neglect, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana (under 20 grams) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Worthy was fired after his arrest. The child is in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families, and the dogs were taken by animal services, deputies said.
Ivey said Worthy had been employed by Brevard County for six years. Worthy was awarded a Medal of Valor and a Life Saving Award during two separate incidents in 2015.
Ivey said Thursday that Worthy, a former U.S. Army Ranger sergeant, was involved in previous internal investigations at the sheriff's office, but did not provide any details. Worthy posted bond and has not commented on the arrest, deputies said.
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