Citrus County report shows record of stop, arrest of permitted gun holder

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. - ABC Action News obtained 2009 arrest reports of a heated traffic stop that prompted the Citrus County Sheriff to launch an internal investigation into a seven-year veteran of the force.

Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Heather Yates said Deputy Andy Cox has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation, which could take up to 45 days.

A 2009 traffic stop is at the center of the investigation.

Scroll down to see video of the arrest

Arrest reports reveal that Joel Smith of Homosassa was pulled over for expired plates. It's stated in the reports that "When he turned around to reach back into the van, I saw the black barrel of a pistol on his right side. I drew my firearm, pointed it at the suspect's back, and ordered him to put his hands up. I told the suspect if he reached for the gun, I would (bleep) shoot him in the back," as stated in the arrest report written by Deputy Cox.

Smith was arrested on a charge of "open carrying of weapons."

Arrest reports also read, as written by Deputy Cox, "The suspect informed me that he had a concealed weapons permit in his wallet. I informed the suspect that his weapon was not concealed, and he was being arrested for open carrying of weapons."

Yates explained the relevant statute in 2009 read, "It is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or devise." Yates further explained the law was beefed up and clarified in 2011 to state, "It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense."

When asked if Deputy Cox acted appropriately, she responded, "The Sheriff will not take any position until this investigation has been completed."

Yates said Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy immediately launched the internal investigation when a dash-cam clip posted to YouTube was brought to his attention last week.

Sheriff Dawsy declined to comment.

No one answered when ABC Action News crews visited the listed home of Smith on Wednesday.

Yates said Deputy Cox has a personnel file full of a dozen letter of recommendations and no disciplinary action taken or issues to date.

WARNING:  The video includes vulgar language.  Watch below or at

Print this article Back to Top