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Rookie Flagler Deputy Jonathan Kuleski Cleared of Wrongdoing at Party With Under-Age Drinkers

| August 3, 2015

Jonathan Kuleski

Jonathan Kuleski.

Jonathan Kuleski, a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy marking his first year with the agency later this month, was cleared of wrongdoing following an internal investigation into his involvement in a drinking party on a private wooded lot on Wood Aspen and Wood Acre lanes in Palm Coast last April.  The investigation, however, found that several people at the gathering were under-age.


The investigation, first reported Sunday by the News-Journal, was triggered after another deputy had responded to the lot because of a noise complaint. There, the deputy found some 15 “young adults” listening to music and drinking, among them Kuleski, 22, who told the deputy he believed everyone there was of legal drinking age.

Kuleski told the deputy at the time, according to the now-unredacted incident report, “that he was invited to the gathering at the above location by a male named Andre Rich, who was of legal drinking age. Jonathan advised that after he arrived at the gathering, a group of people arrived and had brought alcoholic beverages with them and began drinking what they had brought. Jonathan advised that he brought alcoholic beverages to the gathering for Alexandra Bogaert and himself, both of whom are of legal drinking age. Jonathan advised he was unaware that the property the gathering was on was private property and stated that had he known of that fact, he would not have gone to the gathering. Jonathan provided a sworn written statement in reference to the incident which will be submitted into records.”

Several other people present at the time confirmed Kuleski’s account and said he’d not been involved in organizing the party. Brass knuckles were found at the scene, but no one claimed them. Brass knuckles are considered a weapon under Florida law, and carrying them without a permit is illegal.

On April 13, Deputy Chief Jeff Hoffman requested that Kuleski’s role be investigated.

“There were several people under the age of 21 who were consuming alcohol,” James Dopp, the deputy who initially investigated the noise complaint, told the internal investigator. Kuleski was of age at the time, and was not appear to be drunk, the statement read.

“There was no mention of anyone supplying the underage individuals with alcohol. They had brought their own drinks to consume,” the investigation reads.

When Kuleski was interviewed for the investigation, he said he had not known at the time that some of the people at the party were under-age, and that he provided no one witgh alcohol.

The investigation notes that Kuleski was off duty that night (there is no regulation against deputies’ drinking when off duty), that he was cooperative throughout, and had no knowledge of the property being private—which, in essence, meant that he and the other people at the party had been trespassing. He thought the land was owned by Rich, the friend who’d invited him there.

The investigation, closed on June 28, found unfounded any allegation against Kuleski.

Download the investigative report.

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23 Responses for “Rookie Flagler Deputy Jonathan Kuleski Cleared of Wrongdoing at Party With Under-Age Drinkers”

  1. Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

    We have investigated ourselves and have determined that we did nothing wrong.

  2. frankie boy says:

    manfre’s kid patrol shows great judgement….cleared or not—he should have known better than to party in the woods with kids….

    • JUST SAYING says:

      Because partying in the woods with a bunch of people within 10 years of your age is wrong. No one should be enjoying the company of those you share a demographic like age with. No one should go out in the woods, crank up the music and not bother anyone.

  3. Nun-ya says:

    I’m so relieved he has been cleared of any wrong-doing! Some cases just deserve a second chance, and I hope that next time he is put in any situation he thinks twice about what he is doing. I think it was a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time because he was not doing anything wrong other than unknowingly trespassing on private property.

  4. tim says:

    wow anyone surprised by this,, flagler county sheriffs office is a joke.

    drinking with underage kids while trespassing on private property, but all clear cause he didnt know better,funny that only that excuse would work coming from one cop to another, lmao, way to be a role model. he doesn’t look like a cop he looks like a kid dressed in a Halloween costume

    • Lawabiding Citizen says:

      Dear Tim,

      That “kid” whom is 22 years old puts his “kid” life on the line every time he puts on that “Halloween” uniform. That “kid” has also put more criminals in jail than most officers in this county. So whenever your in dire need of help and decide to call 911 I sure bet this “kid” will be right at your door step, Halloween costume in tow, ready to protect and serve you.

    • E.Q. says:

      I don’t think this is as big as it’s made out to be, however your statement about being a role model makes a valid point. L.E.O.s are held to a higher standard on and off duty.

  5. JUST SAYING says:

    I support this decision.

  6. Charles Ericksen Jr says:

    A wake up call to a newbie..

  7. Flatsflyer says:

    If LEO’s can get away with killing 535 innocent people since 01/01/2015, I guess what he did should also get a pass. Problem is the lack of judgment he displayed could result in some other innocent person getting shot or killed. Also several people questioned if a FCSO vehicle was driven to a drinking party, the investigation as I suspected never address this issue, maybe the need for a Civilian Review Board is over due?

  8. Nice Real Nice says:

    He is still a kid. And kids party in the woods.

  9. Jack D. Howell says:

    I find it interesting that the comments that are negative show no compassion for the learning curve. No question that poor judgment was used by the young deputy. This youngman did not deserve to be fired for this incident. Punished yes. I know the fear of God was put into him and there is no question he learned from this mistake. Let’s not blow this incident out of proportion as some of you are trying to do. Of course, those of you throwing stones never made any mistakes in your lives at that age….give me a break! If anything, this youngman will most likely turn out to be a stellar LEO.

    • Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

      You know, you’re right. Once he makes it through the academy and pushes past drinking age we should be concerned, because at that point he’s carrying a gun. I agree, give him a break. Everyone should get second chances.

    • E.Q. says:

      Agreed. However, there should have been some form of punishment (nothing heavy) Maybe reasignment. If there was punishment given then they should have released that with the story.

  10. Insider says:

    Someone should look into is call activity and see if he has ever done an extra patrol in that area!

  11. Flagler Resident says:

    22 years old and made a mistake lets burn him at the stake. Come on get real If he were 30 I would be outraged but at 22 he was most likely in an acceptable age range.l even if some were younger. I belive it is lesson learned and time to move on

  12. theevoice says:

    he should be dismissed before he costs the county millions in more BAD decisions..what a joke this county is!!!

  13. Geezer says:

    Let’s just say that this incident is a harbinger of things to come
    from this newly-minted deputy – basically a kid that has the power to ruin
    your life on a bad judgement call.

    “Bad judgement,” just like the drinking party with trespassing underrage kids.

    With all the violent LEO actions now coming to light – you’d think
    that standards would be raised somewhat.

    Yeah right.

  14. FlaglerBear says:

    This very public investigation of Deputy Kuleski should certainly be a wake up call for him in more ways than one. First of all, he should know that in the eyes of many (mostly those who have a bitter hatred of law enforcement), as a law enforcement officer, you are no longer a normal human being. Every thing you do from here on out, especially now will be closely scrutinized. The concept that you can go out and just be a young man and have fun and drink “in the woods” and blow off steam like a lot of other ‘normal’ young men can no longer be part of your fiber. You should either quit drinking and socializing, or travel 2 counties out in either direction, or just stay home when you’re off. If you go to Olive Garden and have a glass of wine, and some citizen sees you, you’ll be recognized as “that cop that got caught drinking in the woods and got away with it! Look at him, he’s drinking again!” Thousands of young people gather together and socialize and have a few drinks, but not you. Never again. You have a duty to the citizens of Flagler County to give up your life as you know it and conform to (what many believe) should be a life of purity and spiritual reflection…As for 35 smackers a year. You should have become a priest, at least some of those are still respected. News alert for you! You can spend your entire career without having has much as one negative blemish on your record and for many it won’t matter; because as the kids nowadays say-“haters will hate”. Advice, let the haters hate, stay out of the woods, and don’t make this job the most important thing. Take care of yourself, your family, and your friends first. The GOOD citizens of Flagler County will support you, and the BAD citizens (of apparently there are too many) can go straight to hell!

  15. BIG JOHN says:

    FIRE HIM.

  16. Sonny Boy says:

    Give the kid a break. If he screws up again and make a bad decision then fire him. He will need maturing.

  17. Shark says:

    Another role model for our youth to look up to !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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