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Collier County deputy on leave after child abuse arrest

Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 18:39:46-05

A Collier County deputy is accused of abusing a child while drunk. Fellow deputies arrested Derek Holden, 45, after a woman at his home called 911 Sunday. 

"Please take him and admit him to rehab," the woman told the 911 dispatcher. 

"He'll be embarrassed, but he needs help," she added.

According to Holden's arrest report, deputies were told he had pushed a child in the home who had recorded part of a dispute with Holden on his phone. The child was reportedly not injured, but the woman decided to call 911.

"I know that was a hard decision to make," the dispatcher told the woman, who choked up as she responded, "It was." 

"You're doing the right thing," the dispatcher assured her.

Walt Zalisko, a private investigator and former police officer, said that some officers suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from things they see in their jobs, such as dead bodies. Sometimes, they might turn to alcohol.

"Officers are reluctant to seek help if they have some kind of substance abuse problem, whether it be drinking or prescription drugs," Zalisko said. "There are social agencies that will help them."

He said domestic disputes are usually the most volatile situations to which officers respond, and they can't let their guard down when the suspect is another officer.

"Particularly here in Florida, they know that almost every home owner has a weapon," Zalisko said. "In this case it was a police officer...they should have a heightened sense of awareness."

Collier County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jamie Mosbach said Holden is using accrued leave time, and that the department is conducting an administrative investigation into his arrest.