By Ashley Cox

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, assigned to the Department of Detention and Corrections, was arrested for battery and official misconduct. The incident occurred at the Pinellas County Jail located at 14400 49th Street North on November 19, 2021.

According to detectives, 41-year-old Terrell Johnson was arrested by St. Petersburg Police Department and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on November 18, 2021. Detectives say while being held in a temporary housing unit, Johnson began his initial medical screening but became disruptive and uncooperative with staff. The deputy assigned to Johnson’s housing unit handcuffed him and placed him into a single cell to de-escalate the situation.

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Johnson’s Booking Photo

While in the single cell, Johnson began to kick the cell door. Detectives say Sergeant Knight and Corporal Jessie were in the hallway outside of the cell and heard Johnson kicking the door from inside the cell. When Sergeant Knight and Corporal Jessie entered the cell, Sergeant Knight pushed, slapped, punched and grabbed Johnson’s hair without provocation or justification.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Sergeant Knight’s written report and verbal account of what transpired showed inconsistencies. Corporal Jessie initially made statements consistent with Sergeant Knight’s account of the incident. However, a couple hours later, Corporal Jessie recanted his initial statement and advised Sergeant Knight was wrong and that he struck Johnson, with no lawful base for his actions. An internal affairs investigation was immediately initiated.

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After being notified of the internal investigation, Sergeant Knight resigned from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on November 22, 2021.

On November 29, 2021, Knight was arrested and charged with one count of battery and one count of official misconduct.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference at the Sheriff’s Administration building today, November 29, 2021, which can be found here:

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The investigation continues.