State Attorney RJ LaRizza’s office will not prosecute a Daytona Beach Shores officer accused of handcuffing his child and leaving the boy in a holding cell as punishment while potty training, according to Brian Shorstein of the 7th District State’s Attorney’s Office.
On Friday, the state’s attorney’s office announced its plans not to prosecute Lt. Michael Schoenbrod. He also released documents showing an investigation into the incident by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Documents show that the Florida Department of Children and Families received a report that the Schoenbrod child was handcuffed and placed in a holding cell. Investigators added that the recall contained allegations that the toddler’s face was smeared with feces during the incident.
DCF interrogated Shenbrod and the mother of the child, Sgt. Jessica Long, also with the Daytona Beach Shores Police, on the incident, records show. Both parents admitted to having handcuffed the child and placed him in a holding cell on two separate occasions; however, they denied ever smearing feces on the toddler’s face, according to an incident report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office filed by a deputy who accompanied the DCF investigator.
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The FDLE investigation details incidents in which a child was placed in a holding cell. The investigation also reveals that Schoenbrod and Long refused to testify under oath to FDLE investigators.
During the investigation, several employees of the couple were questioned. Nearly all of them detailed that the couple struggled to potty train the toddler and that their daycare threatened to kick the child out because of his refusal to use the toilet, records show.
Several colleagues said Long detailed the steps the couple took to try and potty train the child, investigators said. The documents show that one officer compared the couple’s potty training methods to those used on a dog and said something along the lines of, “Why don’t you just poke his nose into that.” Another colleague suggested that this was the source of the speculation that the feces were smeared across the boy’s face, as the FDLE report shows.
Records show that Long admitted to colleagues that she placed the boy in a holding cell, but she stayed with the child all the time and did not leave him, leaving him there for several minutes.
According to investigators, when Schönbrod placed the child in the cell, he moved out of the child’s field of vision, but never left the containment area. This version appears to be supported by surveillance footage documented by the FDLE.
Daytona Beach Shores Police are still conducting an internal investigation into Schoenbrod. The lieutenant is under investigation for violating six departmental rules, according to a memo from Michael Fowler, director of public safety for Daytona Beach Shores.
Shenbrod has been placed on administrative leave and will be suspended pending an investigation.
According to a Daytona Beach News-Journal report, Schoenbrod was critical of other officers he believed were involved in denouncing him to DCF and DLE at the meeting, allegedly not treating them with respect and courtesy, former employees said.
Daytona Beach Shores Police… Sam Dunn
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