Pasco County man accused of following Hillsborough County deputy
By Erin Sullivan, Times Staff Writer
Friday, September 11, 2009
DARBY — There was someone outside their house. It was after 10 p.m. Sept. 4. The wife of a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy saw someone prowling in the shadows. The prowler was never caught, but the deputy thought he knew who it was:
Others who live near the deputy's house in Darby told him that Andrew Hudson, a 23-year-old who lives with his parents, had been seen taking photos of the deputy's house, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.
The deputy himself had seen Hudson parked in front of his house before, authorities said, and in April, the deputy caught Hudson following him in his car. The deputy pulled over and asked why Hudson was following him. According to the Sheriff's Office, Hudson replied:
"Do you think I would make a good cop?"
The deputy told Hudson he could be a good cop if he worked hard and stayed out of trouble. He didn't report the incident because Hudson wasn't threatening him, sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.
But after that September night, the deputy reported Hudson's behavior to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Investigators checked Hudson's MySpace page and found a virtual profile of the deputy there, according to authorities.
"It was bordering on stalking," Doll said.
On the MySpace page were five videos of the deputy, one recorded when the deputy stopped Hudson in Wesley Chapel to ask why he was following him, Doll said. There were also photographs of the deputy's house and his address was listed, Doll said.
Under the "about me" section, Hudson said: "Make no mistake my friend. It isn't the revenge I'm after ... It's the Reckoning."
His mood is usually listed as either "determined" or "disgusted." He called the deputy "the devil's advocate." The song Secret Agent Man comes on when his MySpace page is viewed.
His status updates say things like: "Thank you God, everyday in every way. Lost faith in the government today. And so the coverup continues.
"I sure would love some company, if anyone could stand what the cops have turned me into. I love having dirty cops as neighbors!"
His MySpace page says he has been a student at Pasco-Hernando Community College since 2004.
He was arrested Wednesday on a charge of interception and disclosure of electronic communications, accused of videotaping the deputy without permission. He was released that same day on $5,000 bail.
Hudson's only arrest in Florida — other than Wednesday's — was a few months ago.
At 8:35 p.m. Feb. 21, Hudson's car drove past a deputy who had been conducting a traffic stop on the side of U.S. 301 in Dade City, a report said. The deputy noted that the driver didn't move over to another lane or slow down, as law requires. So the deputy wrapped up the traffic stop and pursued the 2004 Dodge Neon.
The deputy turned on his lights and siren.
The Neon kept going, 45 mph, 10 under the speed limit. Hudson didn't try to flee or lose the deputy on a side street, the report states.
This went on for more than 2 miles.
The deputy drove up to the side of the car to see who was driving. According to his report, the driver was Hudson, then 22. The deputy said Hudson turned on his interior light, smiled and waved and kept going.
The deputy let him go and pulled up his driving history. He saw that Hudson had five traffic citations in 2008 — three for speeding, one seat belt violation and one citation for driving with an obstructed view, according to the deputy's report.
The next day, the deputy showed up at the Darby home where Hudson lives with his parents. Hudson's father told the deputy his son "felt the Sheriff's Office was targeting him." His father said his son told him he was going to pull over that night, but wanted to do so at a gas station, not on the road.
When the deputy went to read Hudson his Miranda warning, Hudson shouted, "I'm not listening to you," according to the Sheriff's Office. During the ride to jail, Hudson told the deputy, "I know you guys are out to get me," the report said.
The photos and videos of the deputy have been taken off Hudson's MySpace page, Doll said. The status updates are still there. He hasn't updated it since he was arrested Wednesday. His mood is still listed as "determined."
Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.