Connecticut Man Charged with Impersonating LEO, Grabbing Teenage Girl “Inappropriately”
BROOKSVILLE – A Connecticut man is behind bars today after Brooksville Police say he impersonated a law enforcement officer and “inappropriately” touched a 17-year-old girl.
The investigation began on October 30th after the victim called 911 from the Walmart parking lot on US-41, to report that she had just been sexually assaulted by a man who identified himself as a police officer.
Brooksville Police Detective Tracey Schofield tells RNRF that the suspect, later identified as 56-year-old Richard Charles Bretton of Newtown, Connecticut, fled the scene after the victim called 911 but that they were unable to locate him that night.
Thanks to an independent witness and nearby video surveillance, Schofield says they were able to positively identify the suspect’s vehicle.
Last night, Sheriff’s Deputies spotted the vehicle traveling on Cortez Blvd and after following the vehicle for a short time a traffic stop was conducted at the intersection of Commercial Way and Northcliffe Blvd, where the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
A separate DUI investigation was conducted at the scene, after deputies determined that Bretton was most likely under the influence.
During an interview with Det. Schofield, Bretton admitted to being in the parking lot and walking his dog but denied having contact with the victim.
Because Bretton had just arrived in Florida the same day as the alleged offense, Schofield voiced concerns over possible criminal acts that may have occurred in different jurisdictions during his travels from Connecticut.
Brooskville Police impounded Bretton’s pickup truck and are currently waiting for a search warrant to search for evidence.
Bretton is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, battery, and driving under the influence. Schofield explained that because Bretton allegedly grabbed the victim outside of her clothing, they are unable to charge him with sexual battery, however, they will attempt to seek a Burglary/Battery charge, a third-degree felony, because Bretton reached into the truck. Bretton also explained that there are specific laws that pertain to 17-year-old victims. If the victim had been 16 or under, Schofield says there could be a different range of charges.
Bretton is currently held on a $16,000 bond at the Hernando County Jail.
The victim, who officials say is the daughter of a “local government employee.” Was not injured during the incident.
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