North Port police officer commits suicide amid sexual battery allegations

A North Port Police Department officer committed suicide Thursday as deputies prepared to arrest him on charges of sexual battery and kidnapping, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
Officer Ricky Urbina, 44, had been accused of handcuffing a woman at a March 2 party and sexually battering her in a room while on duty, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.
A second officer, Melanie Turner, was arrested Thursday on the same allegations.

North Port Police Department officials said the incident is under administrative investigation. The agency is holding a news conference 11 a.m. Friday.
Urbina and Turner had been cooperative with investigators, who agreed to contact them when they planned to take them into custody. When investigators contacted Urbina on Thursday, he asked investigators to meet him somewhere besides his home. While en route, deputies received a report of a shooting at Urbina’s home.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, the woman who made allegations against Urbina and Turner said the battery occurred at her home while hosting a birthday party for her boyfriend that Turner, who was off duty, was attending.
Urbina, whom the victim did not know, arrived at the party after Turner invited him.

The report says Urbina noticed Turner helping a guest remove a pair of handcuffs. After the guest was freed, the victim was placed in handcuffs. Witnesses identified Urbina as the person who handcuffed her.

Urbina and Turner took the victim to the master bedroom, the report says. The victim told investigators she remembered one of them mentioning a “body search” and Turner locked the bedroom door behind them.

“Up to this point, the victim stated that she felt that the actions of Turner and Urbina were merely party fun and felt that she would be released,” the report says. “However, she was not released.”

Turner removed the victim’s pants without her consent and Urbina sexually battered the woman while Turner kissed her, according to the report. The victim saw the window blinds open and said her boyfriend is “going to kill you both” if he saw what was occurring.

Turner put the woman’s pants back on and Urbina removed the handcuffs.

The victim told a friend what occurred and an off-duty officer at the party contacted a police supervisor.
Turner was interviewed four hours after the incident, but deputies redacted a summary of her statement from the report.

Urbina refused an interview until his attorney could be present, the report says. During that time, he made statements to an investigator that he “would be fired over this incident, he would not fight the allegations and that the allegations would cost him his marriage.”
Urbina’s statement is also redacted from the report.
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