Last Updated: 5:35 p.m.
Sgt. Michael Breckwoldt, a 20-year veteran of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and currently the supervisor of its narcotics investigations unit, is at the center of an allegation that he flaunted and abused his power while drunk at a Flagler Beach bar early this morning, claiming he runs the town, had a verbal and physical altercation with a patron, and demanded that the patron buy him a shot of whiskey.
Breckwoldt, who had been cut off from drinking by a bartender at Finn’s, where the alleged incident unfolded, was briefly held in the back of a Flagler Beach police patrol car as officers investigated. the Officers were later joined by uniformed members of th Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Breckwoldt was not arrested. But the alleged victim told police he intends to pursue criminal charges.
The investigation is ongoing. Its outcome may hinge on two videos that had not yet been reviewed by police.
“As a result Sgt. Breckwoldt has been relieved of all law enforcement duties and authority and has been re-assigned to administrative duties,” Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Lutz wrote FlaglerLive. Breckwoldt will still be paid while on administrative reassignment, as is normal in such instances. “Sheriff Staly has directed an internal investigation be conducted following the Flagler Beach Police Department investigation and is deeply disappointed in the alleged behavior which, if proven, is not in keeping with the expectations expected of an FCSO employee.”
According to a Flagler Beach police report, Breckwoldt once or twice bumped into L.L.R., a 41-year-old resident of Palm Coast, demanded that L.L.R. buy him a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey, and, according to Finn’s bartender, said: “I’m the sergeant of Flagler Beach and I fucking run this town.”
A Flagler Beach police officer responded to the area of the bar at State Road 100 and North Oceanshore boulevard after 1 this morning to find Breckwoldt, 44, sleeping on a chair outside the bar, and L.L.R. appearing visibly upset. Breckwoldt “appeared to be under the influence of alcohol,” the officer reported, “due to his eyes and his slow reaction and his slurred speech.” So was L.L.R. Another officer placed Breckwoldt in the back of a patrol car “to further conduct the investigation.”
L.L.R. told an officer that while he was at the bar on the upper deck of Finns, Breckwoldt bumped into him with his chest an unknown number of times and words were exchanged. Breckwoldt asked L.L.R. if he knew who he (Breckwoldt) was, and told him that if he did, L.L.R. should buy him a drink. L.L.R. did not know Breckwoldt, but bought him the drink anyway, then asked around and found out Breckwoldt is a sheriff’s deputy.
L.L.R. “felt [Breckwoldt] was using his status as a law enforcement officer to his advantage,” the report states, and that L.L.R.’s brother’s girlfriend took a video of the incident on her cell phone. But the cell phone was not recovered at that time. L.L.R. himself acknowledged that he was under the influence. “It was apparent [L.L.R.] was emotionally upset over the incident and other officers and I attempted to calm [him] down.” The man’s wife, who had been at work, drove over to pick him up.
Once Flagler Beach officers confirmed that Breckwoldt was a sheriff’s deputy, a sergeant with the Flagler Beach Police Department was summoned to the scene, as was Sheriff’s Cmdr. Brian Finn. Both supervisors were briefed on the incident as an officer gathered further eyewitness accounts from people at Finn’s.
One employee, who provided a written statement, said Breckwoldt and L.L.R. were arguing. When “security management” intervened, L.L.R. said Breckwoldt had bumped into him and claimed to be the “sergeant of Flagler Beach and he can do whatever he wanted.” The Finn’s employee said the deputy was cut off, given water and offered a ride home, which he declined. Sworn statements were not taken from either man because they were drunk. (L.L.R. later said he was not drunk, but had been drinking.)
L.L.R. was advised to report to the Flagler Beach police station this morning to write a statement. (He had not yet done so when Police Chief Matt Doughney was contacted by a reporter about the case after 10 a.m.) “We’re waiting to hear from the alleged victim in the case,” the chief said.
Finn’s surveillance video could not be accessed until morning. Doughney was not yet aware whether that had been turned in. L.L.R “was made aware if the evidence show[s] probable cause charges would be sent to the State Attorney’s Office,” the report states.
A second officer also interviewed L.L.R., who said Breckwoldt bumped into him twice and demanded the shot of whiskey as he yelled at L.L.R.
A Flagler Beach police officer gave Breckwoldt a “courtesy ride” to Breckwoldt’s Palm Coast home, where Cmdr. Finn and acting Chief Kenny Goncalves were to make contact with him, according to the report. Flagler Beach detective Rosanna Vinci has been assigned the case.
Breckwoldt is known at the agency as a kind and well-liked man, but has had issues in the past when drinking was involved. In April, Breckwoldt was honored for his 20 years of service with the agency. Last year he was among those receiving a unit citation award for his role in saving a three-month-old child from danger, one of several such citations he’s received over the years. Among the highlights of his career was his successful prevention of woman’s suicide, though she was armed with firearm that she had already fired twice.
Sheriff Rick Staly in his tenure has combined a fierce defense and advocacy for his ranks with severe consequences for members of the force who violate agency policy, which includes prohibitions on misusing–let alone abusing–the shield or behaving, even while off duty, in ways that reflect poorly on the agency.
Members of the agency and its leadership, including the sheriff, were in St. Johns County today at the funeral for St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michael Kunovich. Kunovich died a week ago “after experiencing medical distress following an altercation while on the job,” according to a media report.
Can’t wait to see the repercussions concerning Breckwoldt’s bad behavior. Sounds like, with his history of similar actions, that Sheriff Staly will deal with him soundly. We don’t need officers like Breckwoldt tarnishing the reputation of our Sheriff’s Department.
dislike them says
Ha-ha ..the cops think there are privileged and above the rest of us! I cannot stand arrogant now it all threating COPS. And are sheriff is one of them! of course not much will be done.
Robert Joseph Fortier says
Looks like you are against the English language…AND police…
same name says
Know it all COPS
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Oh man, a courtesy ride home. Police sure are held to a higher standard than everyone else, aren’t they?
Courtesy rides are routinely provided to civilians in various circumstances.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
I can’t wait to revisit this reply once this business reaches its conclusion.
Concerned Citizen says
In what reality?
Once a Deputy determines you are legally drunk the outcome is usually a trip to the Sheriff’s revered Green Roof Inn. I’d like to see stats on just how many civilians vs LEO’s are offered this courtesy ride.
Same song different tune says
I am going to be frank. All of my statements can be verified. FlaglerLive please simply ask a few questions… 1st of all, Sheriff Staly used to live by Sgt. Breckwoldt in the same gated community. I have seen both of them at Sheriff Staly’s old residence drinking together. The Sheriff knows Breckwoldt has a drinking issue and has covered for him previously. Commander Finn used to be on the narcotics unit with Breckwoldt. They are the best of friends and Finn should have excused himself for that very reason. Breckwoldt needs help…it is not a new issue. Let’s see what high standard Staly does. Remember Delarosby was fired and lost his life under Staly’s watch as undersherriff for behaviors involving alcohol that were less than this.
95 north says
So, who covered for the late ex Deputy Kocorowski when it was alleged he was drunk on the job?
Day One. says
Cover for him? Several members of the agency rallied around him, physically took him to treatment, went to meetings with him, got him help, chance after chance. His ultimate actions were his own.
Another name that should not be brought into this situation!
Day One. says
If you think for a second that a on duty Commander has the ability to recuse him/herself from any situation, you are very mistaken.
Also. this situation and what happened to Deputy Delarosby are two completely different things, and if you knew the real story you wouldn’t be bringing his name into this.
Deborah Coffey says
Oh dear. I do wish Sgt. Breckwoldt would contain his drinking to his own home. On the other hand, if his drinking is a real problem, I hope he can get some help. The job he does every day is very stressful so, getting plastered once in a while is understandable. But, we need him fit for duty.
“getting plastered once in a while is understandable”…..if that is how he handles “stress” he should find a new career and seek professional help – not drag the Sheriff’ s Department thru the mud!
Just another example of LEO’s that can do what they want in this county. Anyone else, would have been ticket, jailed or whatever. This happens time and time again in this county. I get it, people make mistakes, but why aren’t we all treated the same way. Guarantee if I go to Finn’s, get drunk and act like that, I wouldn’t get a ride home, most likely a ride to county.
It’s sickening…. Do what I say or else, but we will do what we want and be covered by oh, it will be investigated, let us give you a ride home buddy! So does that mean if I get drunk I can call the Sheriff for a ride? Another reason why I don’t drink….
Most slept on says
True story, I agree besides Breckwoldt arrested me 19 times and I beat every charge, he needs to be fired as if it was a civilian and any civilian would’ve went to jail for obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, extortion for the demand and saying he runs the town; I wanna see the video!!!!
Buy your beer for home and think of the fallen heros this week and it’s real criminals moving in from all over chase them down everyone in are grandest town
Courtesy rides are NEVER provided to civilians. Keep dreaming. FCSO think they are above the rest of us when they drink and drive more than any of us! Oh and wait, abuse the women they are with. Any other person would have been arrested on site! Please. Sheriff needs to take a back seat and look at his team. Maybe take a lesson from his idol chitwood. Learn a few things. Just like the other police officer at farleys who got away w drunk driving and harassing another officer . Nothing happened to him. Still patrolling the streets I’m sure.
Lance Carroll says
I guess he proved he runs the town, he extorted someone and threatened them and got away with. Sounds like his claim was pretty accurate.?
in vino veritas says
The alleged intimidation is serious. But more concerning is the supervisor of the narcotics investigation unit allegedly saying, “I’m the sergeant of Flagler Beach and I fucking run this town.”
Sheriffs office has been rotting for a while – no disrespect- Staley has done a tremendous work for the county – but long-standing regimes with as much favor and power as he has – it’s part of the evolution of it all – this and the other scandals are just what we see – but you can see it everyday with the atrocious driving behavior and general behavior of many deputies – new leadership, new perspectives and , gasp, a civilian and cop review/overaight committee might help –
In any event unions are masterful at getting bad cops off with a slap and their pensions and jobs intact – they get lots of practice
cop review/overaight committee. Well said however they won’t give them supine power. To bring a indictment to them. Trust me it happened in MIAMI, it was a spit on the face on the public.
They act like this in Uniform in your Town while on duty. Alcohol does not need to be involved. It does tend to bring it more in the public eye when an incident occurs. IMO Time for a change at Sheriff He’s done alright but in power too long.
A good old boy slap on the wrist is all this clown will probably get !!!
I had to move away for business, but will be back… And when I do come back I’m going straight to FCSO to have a chat with the so called Internal Affairs officer.
I donated ALOT of money to get the old sheriff out, and if they are going to continue Preying on locals and allowing a daily cycle of abuse to happen against local residents I’m going to raise a couple million to start a Palm Coat Police Department and divert the funding FSCO receives to a NEW police department that will exclude them from engaging with anyone from palm coast and/or Flagler Beach.
I could’ve sued them twice personally for way more abuse of power than that drunk, and found the internal affairs officer was basically protective of the officers and nothing happened.
In a place like Palm Coast or Flagler Beach there is NO Place for bullies who get their jollies abusing and preying on citizens.
If Staly doesn’t handle this properly the will be a new Sheriff next election, and EVERY officer that was employed under him will be fired. I have the Perfect candidate to replace him and he is truly a good guy, not a fake.
Day One. says
“Every officer that was employed under him will be fired…”
Clearly you don’t remember, or know about “bloody Tuesday” when Jimmy did that… it’s still in court!! And definitely didn’t benefit anyone or anything.
I am not giving the sitting Sheriff a pass, but sometimes it’s those they surround themselves with that are the even bigger problem.
Mrs. M says
It sounds to me like he was drugged and framed probably by one of the poison peddlers he arrested. I know Mike personally
We even went to school together and never have I seen him get drunk at any family events, weddings etc. Something sounds fishy. This isn’t his fortay. I’m almost positive someone drugged his drink. I say this because I’ve known multiple people who were drugged at Finns over the years. So, watch your drinks. It’s sad him and his family have to deal with all this nonsense
. He is a good man, father, husband, friend and narcotics detective.. and cleaned up this town a lot.
I couldn’t agree with you more, that was my first thought because I was drugged in that poop hole and I know numerous people that feel the same.
Not as well as u think says
Your knowledge of Mike is sadly very limited as he has had a drinking issue for many years.
Sounds like you’re trying to cover up for his bad decision. he might not have been a drinker when you went to school, but 20 years later things most likely changed. I don’t know him at all but I’m guessing he has some personal things he’s dealing with and things got out of hand. It’s no excuse and he needs to face the consequences of his actions. As a high ranking deputy he should know better. I know someone who when sober is a great person, but after a bunch of drinks thinks he can be superman. The answer to problems are never at the bottom of a glass. i hope he get what he deserves in punishment and then gets help for his demons.
Lance Carroll says
Are you insinuating that said deputy was not aware enough to watch his drink? Flaglerlive…get the surveillance footage from Finn’s and the bar tab connected with this deputy? I ask for his debit card receipts for the entire day in question. Sounds that this guy should definitely be watching his drink….
It’s called accountability and the lack of.
No Political Affiliation says
Drugged and framed? You’d make a great politician…but where does Hunter Biden’s laptop fit into all this?!
This is an everyday occurrence with cops. This time the civilian doesn’t seem intimidated.
Nothing beats projecting power!
Here’s the free Starbucks cop:
Just another assh*** in a uniform…
Be Brave, Be Kind says
I am surprised by the number of vindictive comments. Am I to believe that no one here has ever had a drink, said or done something they regret or has made a mistake? I hope you are never judged by your worst moment! I don’t think we should be so ready to judge a good person. “Let he who never sinned cast the first stone”
But at his age ? Drunk and acting like a fool in public ? One kind of expects that from a 21 year old that just became legal for drinking. I do have empathy for police officers, they have to deal with issues from the worst of society in the community. Just read the stories of some of what goes on around here. Darwin’s waiting room kind of stuff ?
Concerned Citizen says
It’s different when you took an oath to do a job. And have the authority to arrest people. Or use deadly force.
We expect those type of folks to hold themselves to higher standards. Getting drunk in public and acting like a school yard bully is very unbecoming.
You obviously do not understand or realize that there is a huge difference between regular Joe Blow Citizen and the guy that takes an oath to serve the people. Be it a police officer, a fireman, an EMT, or and elected official, once you take that oath, you will forever be held to a higher standard than Joe Blow. You are not allowed to have “a bad day” or “a lapse in judgement”. You should never be in a bar partying during the ‘early morning hours’. You are on-duty 24 hours a day. You have a duty to serve, not bully. As one who took that oath I can attest that your life must become one of public moderation, tact and civic mindedness. Sure, you can go out for a drink but do not get shit-faced. Yes, you can cheer for a sports team or an event, just do not become “that guy”. And never, ever, berate a civilian even if they are wrong. This clown is nothing but a bully in a green uniform. He has some obvious issues which have decimated and good points he ever had. He has no business ‘serving the public’. In this situation, the biggest surprise to me would be that he was driving a POV that evening and not his county commission. What is worse, is that this individual is authorized to carry a weapon 24 – 7; even in a bar where he is drunk and not in control of his faculties. He should be dismissed and loose any pension rights. He gave all that up in 30 seconds.
With all that said, given today’s permissive attitude towards police and our Sheriff’s fickle reactions to his deputies, he might get a slap on the wrist or maybe a medal for putting some lowly member of the public he pledged to serve in his place.
Katie Berry says
These are allegations. None of these statements have been proved. We all make mistakes. None of yall are perfect! I pray for him because I know how it is to be drunk and say something you don’t mean. Good people make mistakes! Glad he didn’t drive.
Lance Carroll says
Right…..he was officially issued a courtesy ride. Good thing we all have police intervention and courtesy rides. Otherwise , who knows how this deputy would have driven himself home…..
Oh, by the way, I am the pissant of Flagler Beach. I run this town.🐜
Lance Carroll says
Here is a good question….was this deputy in question carrying a firearm during this incident?
Not sure I think someone should be held to higher standards than the rest of us when off duty on their own time. Definitely think he should be going to AA and Therapy but it’s nuts to think because of the job he does he can’t make a mistake, get hammered one night and run his mouth. I don’t even see a threat in this article ” I run this town so buy me a drink?” That just sounds douchey.
Regardless, holding someone OFF-DUTY to higher standards than the rest of the population is weird. We all pay a price for acting like an idiot, not sure his should be more severe because his 9-5 is as an officer.
Concerned Citizen says
As a sworn officer you are technically on duty 24/7.
As a sworn officer and employee of an agency you agree to terms of how you conduct yourself. On duty or off. You took an oath that normal civilians don’t. that’s part of what holds you to Higher Standards. Although I’ve been retired from the service and Public Safety for some time I still consider those oaths I took a serious matter. And conduct myself accordingly.
This Deputy made a poor choice. Not a mistake. He chose to go out in public and act like an ass. And ran into an individual that wasn’t impressed with his status. At the least there should be a suspension and demotion. He is in a supervisory position. And responsible for command.
Sadly what will happen is this. The Sheriff’s Office will circle it’s wagons and protect this guy. The Sheriff and SA will lean on the victim and talk him out of prosecuting. The Sheriff will issue a half ass apology and the Union will negotiate a half ass disciplinary action.
This agency continues to have multiple problems. Indicative of a Sheriff in office way to long. And one that cares more about his image than addressing his reoccurring problems.
Once you take that oath to serve the public you are never “off-duty”. If so, why do they have ‘take-home’ cars and given department weapons to carry 24/7? You are always held to a higher standard except in communities where cops bullying the public have become the norm. Law enforcement folks are to be respected, how can you respect someone who fails to respect himself or the public which he serves? If you had acted like him you would have been arrested, not given a courtesy ride home.
Concerned Citizen says
Law Enforcement Officers take an oath to do their job.
It holds them to higher standards. And as you are technically on duty 24/7 you should always remember that. Besides that any employer gives you a list of what’s OK and not. This guy is also a SGT. and has command responsibility. Other Deputies answer to him. And he’s supposed to train younger Deputies to do the job.
He made a poor choice. Not a mistake. Let’s clear that up right now. He also ran into some one that wasn’t impressed by his ego. Good for standing up to him. I would like to think this Sgt will be disciplined but he won’t.
What will happen is FCSO will likely protect him and the Sheriff and SA will lean on the guy to not press charges. And once again a serious breach of conduct will go unpunished. Because our Sheriff doesn’t believe in accountability.
This is a complete JOKE! First of all @flaglerlive courtesy rides are given only if the person has no one to call and no money for a taxi. Even that is contained within the city limits of Flagler Beach. Secondly all of this hogwash about his friends never seeing him intoxicated😂. Half the county has seen him intoxicated and how he acts like an arrogant sob. Also his best friend for years also his drinking buddy B. Finn should have recused himself immediately from this situation. Unfortunately he did not. Take Deputy Diego Morales for example. Same situation at Finn’s years back and a slap on the wrist. Then he gets into a crash while intoxicated and causes serious bodily injury to another and somehow still has a job! The good ole boy system is alive and well and always will be unless we stand up as a county and address this strongly. And the comment earlier about giving the city of Palm Coast a police department will not keep deputies away. They can go anywhere in the county and still enforce all of the laws. It’s just time for a common sense Sheriff to get elected and run a sheriffs department like it should be run and not by getting everyone cowboy hats and acting like the Wild West here.
Day One. says
First of all, the personal relationship between Sgt. Breckwoldt and Commander Finn has no baring on this situation – it may have several years ago, but not today. Second, the situation regarding Detective Morales was not the same and did not warrant release from duty. It was also during Sheriff Flemings tenure who didn’t feel compelled to have his name in the paper every time someone blinks. Finally, police and deputies have different abilities under law (FSS), which will always create overlap. The majority at FCSO would support a PD for the City. The infrastructure is already in place for it. Some are banking on the public to believe it’s an impossible mission that doesn’t need to happen- which could not be further from reality.
I hope he gets help.
Ben Hogarth says
I think as a society we need to get away from blaming the drug for the behavior. It’s the underlying behavior that leads to the drug use in the first place. Anyone can and invariably will say or do something stupid while intoxicated. That’s not at issue here. It’s the prevailing pattern of abuse of power, position, and authority. It’s the prevailing pattern of using “liquid courage” by individuals who are unable to cope with cruel and disgusting realities of human existence. It’s the prevailing pattern of a society who is easy to forgive and forget such abuse rather than to confront it head on and force the behavior and individuals to change.
It’s obvious there is a drinking problem here and the individual at question needs help. But we have to stop ONLY blaming the alcohol. If this person has sought the bottom of a bottle for refuge for as long as I’m hearing, perhaps then it is an inherent insanity that both the employer and the community allow it to continue. And when there is something in a position of substantial public authority (power), we need to hold them to a higher standard of accountability. To do otherwise is to throw the entire judicial process out the window (in this case).
I think what everyone here needs is some compassion. Compassion for everyone in this situation. Judging and naming qualities about an individual and a situation that you were not apart of is easy to do. Finding compassion, now that is challenging because it takes more introspective work that people do not want to do because their own lives are too challenging to face. I bet individuals involved in this situation are judging themselves way more than you all are and that is probably the worst punishment of all. And for people who are shaming individuals who may have an underlying mental health issue, I hope you can find some courage to do your own self-care work so you can find more healing for yourself and less judgement about other people. I hope everyone involved in this situation can find closure, healing and compassion.
Concerned Citizen says
Mental health is not always the underlying cause. And throwing that card every time gets tiresome.
There are mean people and bullies out there. And some unfortunately hide behind a badge. No society is getting tired of a lack of accountability/responsibility with those we trust to protect us.
You choose to be in Law Enforcement or Fire Rescue. If it proves to be to stressful don’t take it out on those you’re sworn to protect. Find another job that doesn’t require you to uphold an oath you’re sworn to.
David S. says
If this was in Orange Co Fla he would lose his job on the spot but since Staly is in charge he will get a slap on the butt and continue his job .
@Day one please elaborate to us all how being besties with a commander has no bearing on throw situation. Also if you will please tell me how a Deputy sheriff like D.Morales still has a job after threatening a Flagler Beach Officer and 2 years later getting the DUI. Please help me understand.
Day One. says
Happy to! Your assumption that they are “besties” is just that, but I’ll still shed some general light. The hardest part about taking a promotion that puts you in a command position is learning how to separate your personal and professional relationships. Especially when put in situations like this! Commander Finn did exactly what policy dictates… he called the covering Chief. The “good ‘ol boy” system that everyone swears is “alive and well” died a slow and painful death, but there’s a newer more dangerous one that took its place. As for Detective Morales, again, this is a completely different situation. He did not get away with anything, and served the punishment (for lack of a better word) fit for the situation. Off duty DUI – immediate termination? If everything was that simple. Here’s some food for thought… precedent tends to dictate how situations are handled, decision made 5 years ago could weight in on a situation today. Hate the game not the player.