WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) — Jazmin Sanders said she wasn’t looking for any trouble Saturday night. But, court documents show, when Sanders and some of her friends were walking around just past 10 p.m. on July 29, they ended up in a church parking lot, where some other girls met them.
The Winter Haven Police Department affidavit states there was an ongoing conflict between the two groups of girls that started off as a verbal argument, until Haines City Police Sergeant LaTorian Turner arrived.
“He just pulled up out of nowhere,” Sanders said. “Unexpected.”
According to Winter Haven police, the off-duty Sergeant Turner punched Sanders in the face and pushed another one of her friends. He was later arrested and charged with felony child abuse.
“He said he was going to shoot us,” Sanders recalled, quietly, nearly murmuring the words. “And hurt us for what we did.”
The police affidavit revealed some of the girls from the other group were Turner’s own daughters.
“I just remember him hitting me,” Sanders said, staring off into the distance. “That’s all I can see right now.”
In a statement to 8 On Your Side, Haines City Police Chief Greg Goreck said in part, “As a result of the arrest, Chief Goreck immediately placed Turner on Suspension without Pay, pending the outcome of the criminal charges. Additionally, once the criminal case is concluded, an internal investigation into the off-duty conduct of Turner will be conducted.”
Sanders’ mom, Lacherika Turner — no relation to Sergeant Turner — said she was disgusted.
“She’s 15. He’s an adult,” Turner said. “And what makes it even worse is he’s supposed to serve and protect. Not harm, or have a child in fear for their life.”
Turner said she’s trying to find a new place to live, since the two live only a few minutes away from the sergeant.
“We normally feel like we can call the police for anything,” Turner said. “Now, who can we call?”
She wants to see the sergeant in jail and not able to serve as an officer again.
“I’ve been up all night with her,” Turner explained. “She’s been having nightmares, crying. She’s very afraid of the police now.”
Sanders said she has headaches and blurry vision, even days later. She said doctors at the hospital she went to told her she had whiplash.
“I’m scared to sleep. Scared to eat sometimes,” Sanders said. “Scared to go outside. I’ll usually go outside every day, but now, I can’t.”
Court records show Sergeant Turner’s next court date is August 10.