Osceola Deputy Threatened to Kill Girlfriend if He Was Fired After Beating


After grabbing his girlfriend’s hair, throwing her to the ground, punching her in the face and trying to choke her, Osceola County Deputy Sheriff Michael Keating told her that “if he lost his job because of this incident, he will kill her,” according to investigative records released Monday.

The allegations included in documents from an incident in 2016 that was investigated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. The details came to light after Keating was arrested Saturday and accused of beating the same woman after they went out to two Osceola County bars. The 14-year department veteran was arrested on a charge of domestic battery and placed on unpaid administrative leave.

An arrest report gives this version of events:

The couple got back to Keating’s home about 2:30 a.m. Saturday and started arguing.

The woman, who deputies say was intoxicated, told investigators Keating punched her in the face and threw her against a wall. The girlfriend, whom the Orlando Sentinel is not naming, had a swollen nose, a black eye and a split lip.

Keating told deputies they started arguing because he was married and wouldn’t get a divorce. He said his girlfriend “flew into a drunken rage” and started hitting him, but deputies said he had no injuries.

He told deputies that his girlfriend “has a history of making false reports against him” and injured herself in the past to support claims, records show.

In the Brevard case, deputies were called on July 30, 2016, to Cape Canaveral Hospital. They found Keating’s girlfriend with cuts and bruises on her face, arms and her hands.

She told them her boyfriend — whom she would not name — started screaming at her for no reason and started punching her after they finished dinner and returned to her apartment, a report states.

She told detectives she couldn’t breathe and tried to fight him off after he wrapped his hand around her neck, but he twisted her arm and punched her again, according to the report.

She told investigators she was “scared of him and for her life” but refused to give them his name because she said she was “terrified that he would kill her,” the report states.

She later told deputies that she was to blame, “had been a handful that night” and didn’t want detectives to investigate.

But Brevard deputies persisted. After he reported that he had lost or damaged his agency cellphone, they discovered Keating had been dating the woman since June 2015.

They forwarded their findings to the Seminole-Brevard State Attorney’s Office, which filed charges against Keating. Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said the woman would not cooperate, so the case was never prosecuted and Keating was never arrested.

In an internal investigation, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office found Keating and his girlfriend had a “volatile” relationship that led to deputies being called numerous times, including in December when the girlfriend was accused of using a golf club to damage Keating’s motorcycle.

Investigators noted the relationship led to Keating’s on- and off-duty conduct coming into question and reflected poorly on himself and the Sheriff’s Office.

Keating was suspended for 24 hours, which was taken from his paid time off, but he kept his job even though, Gibson said, some of the allegations were sustained during the probe.

After his arrest Saturday, Keating was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending another internal investigation.

Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com