SARASOTA, FL — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest of one of its own following an investigation into allegations of harassment and theft. According to the agency, one if its deputies stole more than $65,000 from an elderly woman and also took her dog.
The investigation into Frankie Eugene Bybee’s alleged actions began in December 2016, when the sheriff’s office said the 79-year-old victim called the agency asking for help because she was being harassed. That call ultimately led to Bybee’s Monday arrest on exploitation of the elderly charges. Bybee, 46, was an 18-year veteran of the agency.
An arrest report released in the case says that Bybee met the women in October 2016 when he was called out to her home in his capacity as a deputy. The Sarasota woman, who Patch is not identifying, turned out needing medical assistance so Bybee drove her to the hospital, the report said.
Bybee, the report noted, prayed with the woman before leaving her at the hospital.
After the woman’s release from the hospital, the sheriff’s office said the two struck up a familial type relationship. Before long, Bybee introduced his family to the woman and began visiting her home on a regular basis “while on duty and in uniform,” the arrest report said.
“The defendant took possession of the victim’s dog and agreed to keep and care for it while the victim was ill and in the hospital,” the report said. The dog, however, was never returned. Its whereabouts remains unknown, the sheriff’s office said.
As for the money allegedly taken, the report said Bybee received two $1,000 checks during the two-month period of his relationship with the elderly woman. He is also accused of stealing “bank checks from the victim’s residence” and writing them out to himself and his children. The total amount, the report said, added up to $65,000.
Bybee’s arrest was announced Monday morning.
“The community should know that the actions of Mr. Bybee are in no way reflective of the nearly 1,000 other men and women who serve the public with honor and integrity,” Sheriff Tom Knight said in a statement. “It is beyond unacceptable that an individual who works in a position of trust and guardianship to their community, is capable of such heinous crimes. His actions are a disgrace not only to our agency but to law enforcement professionals everywhere.”
Knight personally escorted Bybee to jail following his Monday arrest.