Columbia County Sherriff apologizes to blind veteran after arrest, suspends deputies

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter is taking action after two deputies arrested a blind veteran after initially mistaking his walking cane for a firearm.

The sheriff says the two deputies involved in the arrest of James Hodges on Oct. 31 will be suspended. Deputies Jayme Gohde and Randy Harrison were found to have violated sheriff’s office policies when they took Hodges to jail on the charge of resisting an officer.

RELATED: Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigates after body camera video shows blind veteran’s arrest

Hunter says Harrison will be demoted, suspended for seven days without pay, and not be allowed to apply for advancement for two years. Gohde was suspended for two days without pay. Both will undergo additional training.

The sheriff also apologized to Hodges for the incident and thanked him for filing a complaint against the deputies.

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