The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputy at the center of a grandmother’s complaint is back on duty.
Deputy Juan De Loera was placed on leave when the woman complained he handcuffed her grandson at school March 23 during a career day. The incident was first reported by WTOC.
The Savannah TV stationreported the woman, Latonya Eaton, called the station to let them know her grandson said cops placed him in handcuffs and “told him some rules.” She also said students were placed in the back of a patrol vehicle.
According to the report, the incident happened during the “Touch a Truck” Career Day at Waldo Pafford. DeLoera was at the school, telling the children about his job as a police officer.
Eaton told WTOC she thought the deputy went too far without parental consent.
Thursday, LCSO Maj. Jeff Hein issued a release. It said Sheriff Steve Sikes was made aware of the complaint by the news station.
De Loera was called to the station and placed on paid administrative leave as the department conducted its internal investigation, Hein said.
The statement said De Loera did place handcuffs on some of the children.
“This was done at the deputy’s suggestion and many children volunteered to participate,” Hein wrote. “While this was intended to be a fun educational exercise, Deputy De Loera should have obtained clearance from his supervisors. Corrective action has been taken and the deputy has returned to duty.”
The release went on to say that the LCSO takes complaints against deputies seriously. The public is encouraged to bring any matters or concerns to the department’s attention so they can be investigated.