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Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
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Public safety

St. Pete officer suspended for month after pushing concert guard

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer was suspended for a month after he pushed a security guard at a summer concert in Tampa, according to St. Petersburg police.

It could have been worse: Chief Tony Holloway determined Officer Curtis Wright could have been arrested and convicted of a crime.

Wright, 35, has been with the department since 2010. He was at a July 24 concert at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, police said, when he thought someone stole his e-cigarette. While looking for it, he gave his girlfriend his cellphone, then lost track of her, too.

He tried to find her, but couldn’t call her because she had his phone. While searching for her, he came into contact with concert security guards. Wright "became belligerent, aggressive and committed a battery upon a couple of the guards," according to a police disciplinary report.

Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies, who said Wright appeared intoxicated, detained him but let him go after a security guard declined to press charges.

A police disciplinary board reviewed the incident, and Holloway on Friday sustained four charges against Wright. Two were violations of Police Department rules: committing "conduct unbecoming an employee" and consuming too much alcohol. Two were violations of city rules: behaving inappropriately as a city employee and committing an act that could have resulted in "conviction or guilt of a felony or misdemeanor."

He was suspended from duty for 160 hours, prohibited from consuming alcohol for five years, will be subject to random alcohol screenings for 18 months and must undergo counseling.

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