Deputy disciplined after ‘flipping the bird’ for a surveillance camera

Posted on: 6:30 pm, July 8, 2013, by , updated on: 11:01am, July 9, 2013

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado sheriff’s deputy is in trouble after he was caught on camera behaving inappropriately while on duty. FOX31 Denver’s investigative team obtained a photo that shows the Douglas County deputy using his fingers to send a message.

We have learned the officer is deputy Tom Staples.

He and another officer were serving a warrant at a Highland’s Ranch home, and when the resident failed to answer the door, Staples turned around and flipped off the motion detector security camera.

The owner of the camera refused to participate in our story, but one of his friends saw it circulating on social media and sent the photo to us.

The 19-year-old, who is afraid to be identified said, “I saw an officer giving the double bird to a camera and another officer with a smirk on his face in the background.”

He said he was so disturbed by the picture, he sent it to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, “I wanted to share it with the sheriff’s office so that way something could be done about it,” our source said.

He claims he received no response.

Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. Ron Hanavan told us the department was unaware of the photo until we sent it to him.

“It’s inappropriate behavior, we don’t condone it,” Hanavan said. “Had it been reported to us, just like when you reported it to us, we would have dealt with it appropriately at that time.”

Hanavan also said Staples has been disciplined for the incident.

Hanavan refused to tell us how the deputy was disciplined because it’s a “personnel matter.”

We could not reach deputy Staples for comment.

If you have a story you would like us to investigate, You can contact Heidi directly at Heidi.Hemmat@kdvr.com, or send an email to tips@kdvr.com. You can also call our tip line 303-566-7575.