Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Against Officer, an Injunction

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Against Officer, an Injunction

Article excerpt

LIEUTENANT: Ruling follows allegations of stalking leveled by ex- wifeSARASOTA COUNTYA judge granted a protective injunction against a veteran Sarasota police lieutenant Friday, a ruling that threatens to end his 25-year career on the force.At a two-hour hearing, Lt. Steven Breakstone's ex-wife showed the judge sexual text messages he sent her and testified about how his relentless pursuit of her since their July divorce has taken on overt religious overtones and caused her fear.Angela Breakstone told the judge she even keeps a gun near her at night. "I'm afraid he'll come into my home, rape me, because I'm not responding to him," she said on the stand.Senior Judge Nancy Donnellan found that Steven Breakstone, 47, had stalked and cyberstalked his ex-wife, even though she found no acts of physical violence and he promised the judge he would no longer bother his ex- wife."You have willfully harassed her, and you've been doing it for several months, despite her asking you repeatedly to stop," Donnellan told Steven Breakstone.Breakstone, paid $94,794 annually as one of four shift commanders who oversee three sergeants and all patrol operations, shook his head in disbelief when he heard the ruling. "I may not be employed after this," he told the judge.The problem for Steven Breakstone is that the one-year injunction prohibits him from possessing a firearm, a key tool for a law enforcement officer both on and off duty. He fears Sarasota police officials may now try to fire him for conduct unbecoming an officer.Steven Breakstone is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the stalking allegations, including an investigation by the Sarasota Sheriff's Office in which a detective who investigated has recommended criminal charges be filed against Steven Breakstone. Prosecutors will ultimately decide if charges are warranted. …

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