Warrant, body camera video shows why FMPD officer failed to report endangered child to DCF
The officer accused of failing to report a child was in potential danger told the girl’s mother he was unwilling to deal with DCF. The little girl died in a violent accident a month after Williams arrested her mother.
The arrest warrant clearly states, using Constable Tyler Williams’ own words, what he did and what he did not.
During a traffic stop involving a mother found with heroin and methamphetamine and her baby daughter asleep in the backseat, Williams said he was offering them a “free”. Why? Because “I really don’t want to deal with DCF at six in the morning.”
The warrant sets out the details of what happened in the early morning of January 18.
During this traffic stop, Constable Williams found heroin and methamphetamine in Leslie Zeagler’s car and a sleeping Serenity in the back seat.
“It’s disappointing, you know, we expect law enforcement officers to do, you know, the right thing or at least protect the children,” Serenity’s father Randy Robinson said.
The warrant transcribes the audio of the body camera footage where Williams talks to Zeagler and his friend.
Williams said, “I didn’t say I was taking you to jail because we’re going to have a whole ‘come to Jesus’ stage.”
Williams later said he would not call the Children and Families Department because “at the end of the day what will happen is the state will take the child.”
Williams said there were criminal narcotics in the same vehicle as a “sleeping three-year-old.”
She is a beautiful little girl. She doesn’t deserve this.
“It upsets me because my baby could have been here if he had done what he was supposed to do,” said Robinson. He said that after Serenity died in an accident a month later, he made it his mission to fight for her.
He was in prison at the time for driving without a license, so his girlfriend contacted Agent Williams.
The couple spoke to Williams on a taped line where they claim the officer told them he actually reported the incident to DCF. The next day, Fort Myers Police put Williams on paid leave pending the internal affairs investigation.
“Especially now that my baby is gone I’m not going to stop fighting for her,” Robinson said.
DCF has had three reports involving Zeagler and Serenity: at birth, when Zeagler tested positive for drugs and Serenity showed signs of withdrawal; the second in October last year when relatives who were selling drugs from their homes got into a fight; and the last time Zeagler crashed his car, killing the little girl.