Two men are accused of harassing and threatening a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy in Palm Beach Shores, as the deputy allegedly did the same to them.
According to a police report, 24-year-old Fred Patrick Spring, and 23-year-old Carson Shoaf, who live at the same address in Palm Beach Shores, were booked into the Palm Beach County Jail early Wednesday.
Spring remained there on Thursday, without bond. Shoaf left the jail Wednesday afternoon on $21,000 bond.
Each of them is charged with aggravated stalking of a law enforcement officer, as well as threat to an officer.
The PBSO report explains that 43-year-old Deputy Darrell Russian lives in, and is assigned to, the 10-square-block town at the tip of Singer Island.
On the afternoon of July 4, Russian told investigators that he and a colleague were patrolling near the ocean, when they came across the two men walking with spear guns.
Russian said he reminded them the beaches were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that spear fishing was illegal in the Intracoastal Waterway.
The officer says Spring cursed at him, using both the “F” word as well as a gay slur.
Five days later, Russian said he assisted PBSO’s narcotics unit with a search warrant at the home of the two men. They found two guns there.
Once again, Russian said Spring and Shoaf cursed at him and told him that they know where he lives, which is a few houses away.
Last Tuesday, Russian noticed a car tailing him while he was off-duty in his personal vehicle. Shoaf was driving the other vehicle, and Spring was a passenger, the report states.
Russian said he pulled into the Sailfish Marina, where the other car blocked him. When he stepped out, Spring, with fists clenched, physically threatened Russian, accusing him of setting up the narcotics search. Russian said Spring told him, “I know where your wife and daughter are at. I know where you live.”
Russian said he replied, “I’ll end you if you come to my house.”
One of the arriving deputies said she heard Spring threaten the marina manager, and also heard him say, “I hate cops.”
The other deputy said Spring cursed at him as well, and said, “take off your badge. I’ll beat your (expletive.)”
Shoaf declined to speak to investigators on Tuesday. However, Spring said that he did not like Russian’s attitude during their encounters. He added that he saw Russian park in front of his home last Friday, and that Russian almost collided with his car earlier that day.
When an investigator said that marina security video shows a different version of the encounter than Spring’s, Spring answered, “We are done.”
“We deny the allegations,” West Palm Beach lawyer Jonathan Wasserman, who is representing Spring, said Thursday.
“We certainly dispute almost all of the allegations in the probable cause affidavit,” said Ian Goldstein, a West Palm Beach lawyer who is representing Shoaf. “This officer has actually been the one harassing my client. He absolutely denies making any threats to the officer, ever.”
PBSO said Thursday that, “if the suspects felt threatened by the deputy, they are welcome to file a complaint.”
The agency said Russian came to PBSO from Palm Beach Shores when the agency contracted with the town last November. He had been with the Palm Beach Shores police department since 2013.
Palm Beach County Circuit Court records show five previous felony cases for Spring between 2014 and 2017. Convictions on battery, gun, and traffic charges resulted in jail time.
One of the cases, on drug charges, was eventually dropped. In January of 2017, he was sentenced to 16 months in state prison on a felony battery conviction, and left in March of last year.
Court records show only two traffic charges for Shoaf.