DeLand officer who killed pedestrian on administrative leave

By Anthony Leone and Brittany Jones, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Thursday, August 03, 2017, 7:03 PM EDT

A DeLand police officer is on paid administrative leave after he struck two pedestrians Wednesday night, killing one. 

On Wednesday night, DeLand Police Officer Tony Tagle, 23, was driving his patrol car on Woodland Boulevard and East South Street, when he struck two pedestrians who were crossing the street without using the crosswalk, stated the Florida Highway Patrol and the police department on Thursday morning.

One pedestrian was killed and the other was seriously injured. A FHP sergeant told News 13 that the surviving man stated that both he and the other man had been drinking and both were wearing dark clothes.

"We are heartbroken over the person who lost his life and for his family," said DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger. For Officer Tagle, I can tell you I was at the scene all last night and Officer Tagle is distraught over this accident."

Umberger said this is not the first time a crash has happened in that area. Florida Dept. of Transportation is working with the city to add better lighting.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, and DeLand Police Dept. also plans to do an internal review.

A history of incidents

According to a five-page document, Tagle was given a disciplinary reprimand in 2015 for being careless during an a traffic chase.

On May 27, 2015, Tagle stated he saw a wanted fugitive driving a white Lincoln Navigator in the Hill and Plymouth avenues area in DeLand when he tried to conduct a traffic stop, the disciplinary report stated.

When the driver turned onto Plymouth Avenue at a high rate of speed and Tagle stated he lost sight of the SUV, the report stated.

However, minutes later, Tagle was flagged down by a person to report an accident at Amelia and Washington, which turned out to be the same SUV, which struck a tree, the report explained. The SUV was abandoned and the report does not state what happened to the driver.

During an investigation into the incident, Tagle stated that since he was not able to close the distance of the SUV due to its high speed, he backed off, the report stated, adding that Tagle admitted that he never turned on his lights and siren because of the distance between him and the driver.

It was also determined that he did not realize that he was speeding at 78 miles per hour, but he took full responsibility for his actions, the report confirmed.

Tagle was given a letter of reprimand for his actions for that night.

In 2016, he totaled his patrol car when he hit a storm drain.

And this past February, Tagle was dragged from a car window by a suspect he was confronting. After Tagle broke free, the suspect took off, crashed and died.