No charges for St. Lucie deputy in choking case

No charges for St. Lucie deputy in choking case

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. – A St. Lucie County Deputy has returned to regular duty after being accused of choking his wife on a trip to Key West last year.

Deputy Stephen Casserly was placed on paid administrative leave after he was arrested in Key West on domestic violence charges.

However, according to an internal affairs report given to Contact 5, there was no physical evidence Casserly assaulted his wife.

Key West police were called to Fogarty's on Duval Street on November 11th, after three people accused Casserly of grabbing his wife by the throat and slamming her head against a fence.

When officers arrived, they took statements from the three witnesses, but saw "no marks or broken fingernails…no broken buttons or torn clothing…and saw no marks or bruising."

The report says the Key West officers spoke to Casserly's wife who was recorded on body camera video adamantly denying the accusations.

The Key West officers agreed there did not appear to be enough evidence to prove any claims of domestic violence, but the office did not "want to look as if they gave preferred treatment to another LEO (law enforcement officer)." That is when Casserly was arrested.

A few weeks later, the state attorney's office in Monroe County declined to file charges against the St. Lucie County deputy.

According to the internal affairs report, Casserly told the investigator his Key West arrest was 'traumatizing.'

"This is a huge crisis for us, alright," Casserly is quoted in the report. "My wife is traumatized. I'm traumatized over this whole thing. We have gone to counseling just to deal with the crisis actually because we felt I was falsely arrested."

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office internal investigation found Casserly violated department policy for cursing during the incident in Key West. He was suspended one day for using profanity.

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