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Release Number: 09-138

For Immediate Release

Public Information Office

May 14, 2009

JD Callaway:

(813) 247-8058










Joshua Adam Spencer

DOB 1/15/80

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Detention Deputy


Charges: misdemeanor battery; official misconduct





Thursday, May 14, 2009


Sheriff’s Operations Center, Ybor City

















A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detention deputy was arrested today for misdemeanor battery on a juvenile inmate. The deputy also was charged with official misconduct, a felony. The incident occurred at the Falkenburg Road Jail on May 13, 2009.


Sheriff David Gee ordered a criminal investigation after a deputy who witnessed the battery alerted supervisors that same day. The juvenile sustained a one-inch laceration to the back of his head and did not require hospitalization.


“I am extremely disappointed in the actions of the deputy who assaulted this inmate. However, I am proud of the other deputy who saw the incident, knew it was wrong and brought it to our attention,’’ said Sheriff Gee. “We moved quickly and thoroughly when we learned of this incident.’’


The deputy arrested is Joshua Spencer, DOB 1/15/80. He was hired as a detention deputy in August 2005. He is currently suspended without pay pending termination.


The incident occurred around 12:40 a.m. at the Falkenburg Jail. The juvenile inmate, Sean Walker, DOB 1/19/93, was being held in a confinement cell because of his age. When deputies approached his cell door to discuss a dispute over items in his cell, the juvenile spat on them through a food tray slot. Spencer opened the cell door and charged the inmate, knocking him to the floor, face down. Spencer then struck the inmate three to five times with his fist on the back of the head. Other deputies restrained Spencer, and sought medical aid for the inmate. Jail medical staff treated the laceration. The juvenile was also given a complete examination, including X-rays, by a physician, who determined his injury was minor.


In addition to the criminal charges against Spencer, an administrative investigation is under way regarding the actions of the other deputies involved in this incident.