Man questions Charlotte deputy in phone video

Posted at 10:22 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 07:07:31-04

A Punta Gorda man's Facebook video is getting a lot of attention on social media.

It shows him questioning a Charlotte County Sheriff's Deputy who he said was sitting in her patrol car in an empty lot for nearly an hour.

Eric Blanchard said the secluded part of Charlotte County doesn't see much traffic, only bikers and joggers, and he was wondering what the deputy was doing there, so he pulled out his phone and started asking questions.

Blanchard said he has family in law enforcement and he wants officers held accountable because one day, they could be the back up his loved ones need out in the field.

"Are you on your lunch break?" Blanchard asks the deputy in the video.

"No," the deputy responded.

"Oh, OK. I was just wondering how come I always see LEOs here not doing anything?" Blanchard asked the deputy.

Blanchard said he wanted the question answered after he saw the deputy sitting in her patrol car in the empty parking lot of Sherwin Williams in Punta Gorda for 45 minutes.

"I just pulled up. I knew I was going to ask them what they were doing, so I just thought for my safety and clarity that I would film it," Blanchard said.,

"I just came out to check the hours, actually," the deputy said in the video.

"You wanted to know what hours they were open?" Blanchard asked the deputy.

"Yeah," the deputy responded.

Blanchard mentioned to the deputy that she could have checked the store hours on her laptop in her car.

"That's a heck of a long time to be checking hours," Blanchard said in the video.

"You know how long I've been here?" the deputy asked Blanchard.

"Yes ma'am, I saw you pull in," Blanchard responded.

"Oh, OK. Very good," the deputy said.

"OK, it's just my dime you're wasting. I was just wondering what you're doing," Blanchard said.

The video then shows Blanchard starting to pull away, but the deputy starts talking.

"Well, we have had a couple of problems with people driving around here, and there's an awful lot of bikers and joggers that come here on Sundays. Have you ever noticed that?"  the deputy asked Blanchard.

"I've been here since sunrise, no traffic. There's one man fishing, every other vehicle's been a biker or pedestrian, then there's you," Blanchard said.

"To say she wanted to know what hours when that information is readily accessible just seemed off to me, and I kind of let that be known to her, and she changed up her story that she was out there because there was traffic, which just wasn't the case," Blanchard said.

Blanchard posted the video on Facebook Sunday afternoon, and it has already gotten more than 400 shares.

Some comments praised him, others said the deputy was doing nothing wrong.

Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg reached out to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, and a spokesperson said they had no comment.

When we called to make sure the Sheriff's Office didn't want to participate, we were again told they had no comment.

Blanchard wants the public to know he fully supports law enforcement and just wants officers held responsible for their actions.