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Witness said she was horrified at how rough deputies were with homeless woman


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On May 19, a Citrus County Sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop on a tan, dodge pickup truck at the Family Dollar, located at 6440 West Gulf to Lake Highway, Lecanto.

While making contact with the driver, the deputy determined that the driver did not have a valid driver’s license.

According to the arrest affidavit, there were numerous occupants in the truck, one of which was back seat passenger, Tara Hervish.

During the traffic stop, the deputy requested to see identification for every person in the truck. The deputy stated that it was so he could check for outstanding warrants. The driver, Cameron McCullough, told the deputy that he was only trying to help those in the truck with a ride and that, the deputy needed to stop harassing homeless people.

While the deputy was gathering all of the information, he requested a k-9 unit to respond.

When the K-9 unit arrived, the dog allegedly alerted on the truck for drugs.

All occupants, including Hervish, were then instructed to exit the vehicle, at which time deputies began searching the interior of the truck.

The deputies, while searching the vehicle, said Hervish began screaming and “not making sense.” When they asked why the defendant said she was talking to her dead husband.

A short time later, Hervish, who was standing in front of a patrol vehicle, stated she was leaving and began fast walking away from the traffic stop.

Deputy Barr then yelled for her to stop, to which she continued to walk and stated she was not stopping.

“Hervish was approximately 50 feet away from the traffic stop. At that time, I ran to the defendant, grabbed her by her left arm and deputy Barr grabbed her by her right arm. The defendant was then walked back to my patrol vehicle. As we got near the vehicle, the defendant began pulling her arms and body, to attempt to get away from us. I then gave the defendant verbal commands to stop resisting and place her hands behind her back, to which she did not comply, and continued resisting. The defendant was then pushed on the side of my patrol vehicle. The defendant then began spitting. At that time, I grabbed the back of the defendant’s head with my right hand, to hold her head away from us, while still holding her arm with my left hand. Deputy Barr then conducted a bent wrist on the defendant’s right arm. The defendant then began to comply. The defendant then fell to the ground, where she was then handcuffed (double locked) behind the back without further incident,” wrote Deputy Fischer.

Hervish was arrested and charged with Resisting Arrest and booked on a $1,000 bond. She was not taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

According to Florida law, resisting arrest cannot be a single charge. It must follow a preceding arrest charge. In other words, an individual must already be under arrest before they can be charged with resisting. In fact, more than 98 percent of all resisting arrest charges are dropped and never convicted by the state.

It should be noted that no drugs were found. Additionally, Citrus Gazette learned that  Hervish is homeless and suffers from a mental illness that requires medication. However, because she is homeless and broke, she does not have the funds for doctor’s visits or prescriptions.

A witness who recorded the entire incident from beginning to end told Citrus Gazette that the use of force both deputies deployed on the 100-pound woman was quite disturbing.

Citrus Gazette was able to review the video, however, the witness was afraid of retaliation from the CCSO and did not want to provide a copy even though anonymity was guaranteed.

McCullough, the driver, said, “I have been harassed by the same deputies several times in the past.”

Citrus Gazette could not obtain other video evidence because CCSO deputies are not required to wear body cameras and they do not have dash cams in their vehicles.