Former deputy followed driver, pulled gun

Posted at 3:32 PM, Apr 28, 2016

A man in Hernando County says he was confronted by a unknown driver while rushing back to work after learning about a family emergency.


Rocco Sapio says that person followed him in Hernando County, then pulled a gun when he arrived back to work. It happened at AutoNation in Broad St. in Brooksville.


“I was yelling, you have no right to be here, you have no right to be here,” said Sapio. 


That person following him turned out to be retired Hernando County Deputy James Stegner.


Stegner called 911 and told the operator he followed Sapio to AutoNation and said he pulled his gun.


In the 911 call you can hear Stegner saying “You see this buddy? Get away from me. Get away from me!" Operator: Sir, What's going on out there?"


At first Stegner tells the operator he’s attacked. 


Operator: “Do you need an ambulance? You said he attacked you.”

Stegner: “He didn’t attack me. I said he approached me. I did pull my weapon, put I did not point it at him.”


Stegner said the same thing when we asked for his side the story. 


“I didn’t point my gun at him,” he then said he shouldn’t be talking to the media and answered “no comment” to the rest of our questions. 


But Sapio said he felt his life was threatened.


“I was the victim that day. It clearly states on this report yet justice didn’t prevail as it should have.”


Sapio said the felony, aggravated assault charge listed on the incident report should prove that, but the former deputy is never charged. Sapio took his complaints to the sheriff.


“He said well there’s no arrest for brandishing your weapon in public and he’s like he didn’t commit a crime,” said Sapio. 


Now Sapio wants a third party to investigate and said if the roles were reversed there would be a different outcome.


“If it was me or another individual who did this to someone else who wasn’t a cop one of us would have gotten arrested that day. I’m lucky enough to walk away that day,” Sapio said. 


Sapio is now taking his case to the state attorney’s office saying he thinks the deputy should be charged with the felony so his concealed carry license is taken away. The sheriff’s says they’ll take another look at the case.