'Intoxicated' Hillsborough deputy arrested for battery on Plant City officer

Booking image for Ivan Moreno

A Hillsborough County deputy was accused of starting an altercation with a Plant City police officer, officials said.

Around 12:52 a.m. Monday, authorities said Deputy Ivan Moreno was sitting in the backyard of a home in the 2000 block of Walden Woods Drive in Plant City when he encountered a Plant City officer. 

Officials said the officer was using a flashlight to search behind properties for a juvenile that ran away from her home. They said Moreno yelled at the officer to turn the light off, but the officer continued to search for the child.

Moreno continued to yell at the officer to turn off the flashlight, officials said. Then, the officer used the flashlight to show his badge and uniform, and identified himself as a police officer. 

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Moreno advanced towards the officer, bumped shoulders with him and tried to start a physical altercation. The officer told investigators Moreno appeared intoxicated at the time.

Moreno was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence.

“No one is above the law. Battery on an officer, even if it’s coming from another law enforcement officer, is completely unacceptable,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “This is an incident that should never have escalated to the level of physical violence. We do not condone the actions of this deputy, and he has been placed on administrative leave as we work through the details of this investigation.”

The sheriff's office said Moreno has been employed with the agency since 2016 and has no prior internal affairs investigations.