Daytona Beach, FL - A Volusia County Sheriff's Sergeant is currently serving a 3-week suspension after an Internal Affairs investigation found him guilty of several infractions. Sergeant Jason Stickels was involved in a vehicle chase on February 28, 2018, in which his patrol vehicle was heavily damaged.
The report states that Stickels patrol car was rammed by the suspect, John McGowen, who was driving a stolen 2003 GMC Envoy. Stickels authorized the vehicle pursuit himself and gave chase even though the back bumper of his own vehicle was mostly detached.
Another VCSO sergeant noted that Stickles was traveling at about 100 miles per hour in the pursuit. Stickles was also instructed by the Lieutenant in charge that he should ' basically back off. The report states that Stickles did not respond and continued the pursuit. The chase continued into Seminole County.
The observing VCSO sergeant stated that Stickels did not back down in the pursuit and finally stopped in Seminole County where the suspect was arrested.
Stickels could have been demoted due to his disregard for regulations. After review, the Sheriff determined that Stickles was in violation of 13 separate department and county policies.
On August 16, 2018, Sergeant Stickles was served with an Intent to Demote letter. On August 22, during a meeting with Sheriff Mike Chitwood, who rendered the final decision. In lieu of being demoted, Stickels received a 120-hour suspension, along with an agreement between Stickels and the county of Volusia, stating that he would refrain from the same type of conduct for which he was disciplined.
Stickels began his suspension on October 19. It ends on Sunday, November 4.
Stickels was also involved in an incident in January 2017 where he accused a postal worker of stealing his cell phone. Stickels turned out to be mistaken. The difference of opinion ended in the federal employee’s arrest and cost the county and the city of DeLand $80,000 to settle.