A Hillsborough County deputy with an oath to protect and serve is now facing felony charges for a crime he’s accused of committing months ago.
Tyson Boyd is charged with lewd and lascivious acts involving a teenager.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said he was placed on unpaid leave the moment they learned of his arrest.
They say he worked for the department since 2003 as a patrol deputy assigned to district one, near USF. He is on leave without pay, pending the outcome of the case.
The Sheriff's Office could not release more details about the investigation, saying it's because it’s not their case. Boyd was arrested in Pasco County by the Zephyrhills Police Department, which refused to comment about the case.
The details ABC Action News obtained are from arrest reports. Neighbors say the suspect mentioned is not who they thought they lived by.
Tyson Boyd barely opened the door when we asked for comments about the lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor charge against him. He declined to speak with us.
The 13-year Hillsborough County deputy is accused of inappropriately touching a girl older than 12 but younger than 16. According to the arrest warrant he touched several private areas on the teen and asked her to touch him in return.
“That’s shocking to me. It really is hard to believe,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to show her face.
“He’s a very friendly person. He would have parties down the street for the kids. I never noticed anything unusual about him,” Alonzo Griffin said.
The warrant says the alleged incident happened Halloween night, but Boyd wasn’t arrested until last month. A neighbor who didn’t want to show her face says its a tight-knit community and says everyone took part in an “outside” Halloween party
“We had a large crowd. We had over 1,500 people come through and everyone is sitting outside,” she said.
The arrest warrant says it happened inside Boyd’s house. We’re told he has a wife and several children.
Neighbors say he’s so friendly all of the children would call him Uncle T.
Despite the seriousness of the charges neighbors say they hope it's not true.
"It should be looked into since he was charged with the crime, make sure it's true or not true, but I don’t have anything bad to say about him,” Griffin said.
“With his profession, it's life changing. It can be life-ruining, especially if they are unfounded accusations,” a neighbor said.
The Sheriff's Office says it suspended Boyd moments after learning of his arrest.
The Zephyrhills Police department has not released details as to why it took three months for Boyd to be arrested or if it took that long to find probable cause to make an arrest.
Boyd is set to go before a judge March 3.