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Florida Deputy Dies in Custody After Birthday Celebration in Bar

May 10, 2016  | 

Lee County (FL) sheriff's deputy Willard Truckenmiller died in custody after becoming unruly in a bar following a birthday celebration. Friends have set up a GoFundMe for his children. (Photo: GoFundMe)
Lee County (FL) sheriff's deputy Willard Truckenmiller died in custody after becoming unruly in a bar following a birthday celebration. Friends have set up a GoFundMe for his children. (Photo: GoFundMe)

A Lee County (FL) sheriff's deputy died in custody after being kicked out of the Fort Myers bar where he was celebrating his 32nd birthday last week.

Willard "Truck" Truckenmiller died from an unknown medical episode after being cut off and kicked out of Shores Bar and Grill early Tuesday morning where he was enjoying his birthday with friends.

“At some point around 1:30 a.m. his demeanor changed. They cut him off. He becomes upset because they'd no longer service him, and he becomes unruly," Scott Moorey, attorney for the bar, told WTSP TV. "For safety concerns, they locked the door."

The staff called a Lee County nonemergency line instead of 911. When asked why, Moorey said: "No one was trying to get him in trouble. They were concerned for him, but because of his actions, they felt one of his fellow deputies should come and calm him down."

Even after deputies talked to Truckenmiller about five minutes, "he continued to be unruly and disorderly," so they took him into custody and handcuffed him, Moorey said.

Deputies called for Lee County EMS about 2 a.m. and medics loaded a conscious Truckenmiller into an ambulance and drove away.

Aside from being a deputy, Truckenmiller was a volunteer football coach at his alma mater, Riverdale High School, and a father of two.

A fellow football coach has started a Gofundme page to raise money for his children. "We tragically lost a member of our Raider family and community," the post begins.

About a day in, more than 55 people have raised about $3,000 of the $20,000 goal, and the page has been shared 1,000 times.

"This account is solely to help send his children to college and help them in the days to come. Anyone who knew Truck knew how much he truly loved his children," part of the post reads. "Their father was a remarkable human being and will be missed by so many."

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

jojo @ 5/10/2016 4:11 PM

Remarkable human beings don't get so drunk they get kicked out of a bar and don't leave their co-workers with no choice but to arrest them. It is truly sad what happened, but lets not make this guy out to be a victim or a saint. None of us are.

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