Last Updated: Dec. 22, 2021.
Note: the State Attorney’s Office on Dec. 17 announced its intention not to prosecute the case below.
It was 9:50 p.m. when the Flagler County Sheriff’s dispatch center got a call from a patron at Tortugas, the popular restaurant and bar in Flagler Beach, alleging that a drunk patron carrying a young child was attempting to leave in a car. The man was “extremely intoxicated” after being at the bar several hours, according to the caller. The caller said he’d offered to call a ride for the man, as had others, but the man repeatedly refused.
What followed, according to V.A.’s arrest report, was an example of a 34-year-old man repeatedly given the opportunity by a cop–Flagler Beach Police officer Evan Scherr–to be driven home by a rideshare service, a taxi or a friend, repeatedly warned that if he were to drive himself home he’d be endangering himself, his young daughter and others, and repeatedly given the chance to avoid arrest. V.A. insisted he was fine, rejecting the cop’s offers every time, and finally ending up arrested, and the child claimed by her mother.
The Flagler Beach police officer who responded to the bar found V.A. unsteady on his feet, his eyes bloodshot and his facial features droopy. His BMW’s car key hung from his neck. The officer asked him if he could find him a ride. “If I need one,” V.A. said, “I will call you. V.A. said a friend would pick him up, but it was apparent to the officer that he intended to drive himself. The officer, expressing concern for the child, offered to drive him home in the patrol car. “If, if, if, if it was a necessity,” V.A. said, his speech slow and incoherent, “I would use it.” He was also evasive when the officer would ask him how he intended to get home. The officer asked him if he had a rideshare app on his phone. V.A. did, but said he’d already called a friend to pick him up. When the officer asked to see proof, V.A. told him he’d have to get a judge’s order to do so.
The officer told him V.A. was within his rights, but that he was still concerned about him and his child. “The point I’m trying to make is I don’t need any police involvement,” he said, getting belligerent and using foul language. “I’m going to go my own way and you’re going to go yours. I’m out of here.” The officer followed him out as V.A. walked with his child on his shoulders. He insisted he was not drunk, and told the officer that if he was endangering his child, “then arrest me right now for it.” The officer didn’t arrest him, but detained him, and again tried to reason: his priority was V.A.’s safety and that of his child, he told him.
“If it saves me an arrest, call me an Uber,” told the cop, who told him he couldn’t do so since he didn’t have the app. But he could call him a taxi. “I can literally tell you I am perfectly fine to drive my own fucking child to my own fucking residence,” V.A. said, according to the report. V.A. is a resident of Palm Coast.
“I cannot drive you a car,” the officer said, and at that point arrested V.A. on a third-degree felony charge of child neglect. At the jail, V.A. was reported to have made suicidal statements, and a Baker Act form was completed, but he was booked at the jail at close to midnight, and released on his own recognizance the following day, but under orders to have a so-called SCRAM bracelet within 72 hours. The acronym is short for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring.
herewegoagain . says
This reads to me like the officer involved tried many times to avoid what happened .
Kudos to the officer involved .
Kudos to the patron who called dispatch .
herewegoagain . says
R says: . This certainly gives a different view of what happened ..
DON says: . There are two sides to a story ..
I based my thoughts above on what I read in the article .
I may be wrong ………….
I know from my days as a psych nurse, and working at a non profit,
where Baker acted adults were frequently brought to intake,
that there are two sides to a story, sometimes more, and the truth
may lie somewhere in between ..
So . Thank you . for commenting — and I’m waiting for the TRUTH to really come out ..
Another day in Paradise.
A young child in a bar! Don’t understand. Nice to be a light skinned person, chance after chance, you don’t get shot.
He was from a different country, how is this any different of a case of discrimination or prejudice?
You sayin you dirty if you rockin AirWalks?
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Another example of Flagler County Law enforcement doing more than expected.
Thanks for those that serve.
Dennis C Rathsam says
That officer went above & beyond to help this drunk, the officer,s main concern, is for that child. He did a great job keeping the little girl save. Her father, on the other hand is a fool, & needs to go to AA!
This story is disturbing on so many levels. Why was the call to the police made by a patron and not handled by the employees of the bar? Was lunching at Break Awayz one afternoon when two intoxicated women with a child tried to enter the bar and the staff immediately refused service and phoned the police.
It’s probably a restaurant and a bar.
Thanks goodness the officer was persistent, which clearly shows good training and judgment. Thank you, Tortugas & Officer Scherr for keeping everyone safe.
By the sheer amount of support this guy has gathered so far, I’d be willing to say that the staff and patrons of Tortugas would be on the side of this man and not the police. Nobody in the restaurant besides the caller and the police thought he was acting out of character or putting his child in any harm. You don’t call cops on people because you don’t like them, that’s some gestapo level stuff here. That’s not what America should be about.
Good job to the police. It takes a lot of patience to deal with drunks.
This article and the police statement are so wrong. I watched this whole thing unwind all the way down to the police putting this man who was not intoxicated but didn’t speak English well get put in handcuffs for “child endangerment” for having the kid on his shoulder! We got to the restaurant/bar around 8:20 we saw this man with his daughter on his shoulders from the time we got there to the time the police came out of nowhere and started harassing him. If people think it’s right or not children are allowed to be there a place that is also a restaurant till 10. He wasn’t sitting at the bar he was standing in a group with his friends and also dancing with his daughter at times. Please tell me how a guy who is unsteady on his feet can stand for over an hour with his daughter who was not a baby at all on his shoulders. Also, I would be upset too if two cops soon being three were surrounding me when I have done nothing wrong. He had then walked away from the bar. So we followed they continued to harass this man who then again has NOT EVEN BEEN BREATHALIZED telling his was was “wasted”. Thats when my friend said to him about getting him in a uber. He Agreed to get in our uber immediately stating he wasn’t even sure how to use the app! Mind you again we not once thought he was drunk we could clearly tell he had a language barrier. When he told the officers he would get into our uber they then proceeded to ask him who was going to be at home with him and the child! AGAIN STILL NO SOBRIETY TEST OR BREATHALYZER GIVEN!!!! does anyone understand how many people are at home daily and get drunk and more at their house with their children in it?!?! I THOUGHT THE WHOLE PROBLEM WAS HIM GETTING HOME SAFELY! As we continued to speak with the officers that’s when out of nowhere they decided they were going to arrest him.(I HAVE IT ON VIDEO!!) They then took the child off of this man’s shoulders and allowed someone who was in no relation/ didn’t even know the child(because she told me) to take her to their golf cart with 0 supervision ( Even though she was nice) isn’t that child endangerment?! What went down was an abuse of power when that man literally did absolutely nothing wrong at all. Again he did not once attempt to leave off the property because we were right next to him for over an hour and he was laughing and smiling and so was his child!! They should really start to worry about people who are actually putting their children in harm’s way and not innocent people with language barriers. It one of the saddest things I’ve seen and really made me question human decency.
I was gonna say, not once did they mention a sobriety test, only that he was “unstable on his feet” there could be numerous reasons other than influence of alcohol/drugs for that. Seems like this could have been solved with a single breathalyzer test, no arrest needed. Seems almost like it was more a waste of tax payer dollars because someone didnt know/understand this man and jumped to an unfounded conclusion. Gonna be interesting to see if these charges stick
PC Resident says
Can you share the video with us somehow? I believe what you’re saying since Flagler cops are well know for their xenophobic behavior and had several successful lawsuits filed against them by minorities for false arrests. I think they’re mad because of this and are taking out their revenge on immigrants and
There’s always two sides to a story I would love to see the video
David Gillon says
Experience tells me Evan Scherr is one of the most professional, approachable, and people-oriented, cops on the force. I wish they were all so good. Yes, there are two sides to every story, but it sure sounds like Officer Scherr was very patiently doing the right thing here. He’s no cowboy.
Flagler Expatriate says
Sounds like another example of Flagler Beach PD, AKA FCSO light, abusing their power. Local Flagler county law enforcement’s favorite tools are false arrest, intimidation and overcharging. These tools are consistently used against any individual they deem undesirable. Targets of local law enforcement’s xenophobia include different ethnic groups and “outsiders” who are more successful than themselves.
Jose Silva Vasquez says
They have literally been doing that for decades, nothing’s changed. I know someone that was 16 and got pulled over by then alive Frankie Celico, put in handcuffs and almost had their wrist snapped bent over the hood of a car with words like “we’re gonna deport you, boy” The guy wasnt fighting back, wasnt trying to run, all of this over a dimebag of weed and being an immigrant. Goes to show that you can mistreat people and abuse power and in the end you’re still the hometown hero for a lot of folks.
PC resident says
I’ve known this guy since childhood.
Let me tell you this. He was always a self entitled daddy’s boy and always acted better than everyone else who thinks his crap don’t stink.
He appears to have used his kid to pick up girls. Haven’t seen him in over a decade but this does absolutely seem like something he would do. Self entitled is to say the least. I’ve seen him do similar things before. This is disgusting. He used his kid to draw attention of girls to him. Vlad needs to stop smoking pot. He never stopped. Now his mind is twisted and messed up. He can’t think straight. Pot is not harmless kids. It messes up your brain chemistry over time. Now he has delusions of grandeur by requesting a jury trial lmfao. Think this through Vlad. Take a deal. You’re a delusional pothead. The police officer have him every chance to avoid this. Kudos to the officer. Vlad needs to stop blaming everyone else around him for his problems that he causes.
Benjamin G says
You claim to know this man, yet haven’t seen him for 10 years but somehow know him since childhood? Then you would know about his strained relationship with his father, hard to be a daddy’s boy in those circumstances. 10 years ago Vlad was in the US military, being deployed in the middle east so people like you can have the freedom of speech to slander him. Sort of hard to smoke pot and get an honorable discharge, isn’t it? He had a back surgery and is getting screened for TBI after getting blown up in the service and has a medical marijuana license(which is allowed by the state). He “appears” to use his kid to pick up girls? What do you know about his appearances after 10 years of not seeing him and what similar things have you seen him do before if out of the past 14 year’s he’s only been in palm coast for last 3? The only self entitled daddy’s boy(girl) seems to be the person who is making these baseless accusations. If you truly known this guy since childhood, you would have posted your name and how you know him, not sit there and make comments like this.
You’re either a) someone who truly doesn’t know him with nothing better to do than make assumptions and accusations or b) Someone who knows him and has a personal issue with him which they otherwise wouldn’t have taken up with him personally, you’ve had 10 years or more, right?
John R says
You haven’t seen the guy for 10 years, his daughter is 5 years old yet you somehow know that he uses his child to pick up chicks? Somehow you know him to be a bad father yet you haven’t been around him the entirety of his daughters life and see him be one? Have you been to Tortugas? what “girls” is he trying to pick up? 50+year old local Flagler beach residents? What” similar” and “disgusting” things have you seen him do and how long ago?
I think we might have found our anonymous caller, ladies and gents. Someone with a deeply brewed personal vendetta, wouldn’t surprise me if he saw Vlad out and about, saw his chance to exact his revenge and took it. Pathetic.
I see Vlad and Athena at Flagler Beach all the time(specifically Tortugas and Breakawayz and every time I see him he’s getting food for his daughter) not once have I seen him do anything to put her in any kind of danger. His child means everything to him and anyone who ever took the time to get to know him would agree with that statement. He really loves her more than he loves himself, he personally told me that she helps him heal the scars of his military service and motivates him to try his hardest for her future. As a veteran and a father myself I know exactly what he means by this. I wasn’t there that night but based on what I know about him I can certainly tell you that this is very wrong on many levels and people who were there and saw the whole thing would seem to agree. I didn’t have to know him since childhood, as the other poster has claimed, to know that he’s a decent person.
This is no way to treat a father, a disabled veteran and an immigrant. He put enough faith into this country to serve here and he’s getting arrested and demonized by those who haven’t got an ounce of faith in him. I hope he gets his daughter back ASAP and sues those that caused all of this damage to his reputation and well-being. This is beyond despicable.
Florida Veteran says
Anyone remember the Daniel Noble incident at European Village? The domestic terrorist wanna be who came to shoot up a whole crowd of people and was given probation for an attempted Mass shooting? He was facing 35 to life in prison and was given probation. Vlad should use that incident as a defense. It seems like only white American good ole boy veterans always get a pass while they always try and screw over immigrant veterans. Flagler cops are xenophobic as hell.
Another Florida Veteran says
Yeah, I remember that! One of the guys who stopped the shooter, Vassili Mironov, is also Russian speaking and a Navy veteran. After he saved those folks the Flagler cops arrested him at Finns for a fight he didn’t start, tried his best to vilify him, paint him as a troublemaker and a delinquent. I remember the lies circulating around his name like it was yesterday, the smear campaign and the snide remarks by the police. All charges were dropped once they saw the security footage, Vassili sued for $89k in damaged but only got $6 in settlement and barely that(3-2 split decision by the town committee).
I agree completely, imagine living in a society where US Veterans who are immigrants get arrested and overcharged for absolutely no reason while US Veterans who were born here get a slap on the wrist for almost committing mass murder. Is this the Liberty and Justice for all that we deployed for? Absurd!
Just goes to show you things in this town don’t change, xenophobia is so deeply rooted it goes through layers of city officials, be it cops or the people who run this town. I really hope he uses this case in his defense too, good observation!
Retired Amry Vet says
I found this about Vassili floating around on the internet. This is insane. How the hell did this incident not make national news?????? Apparently a Russian American can’t be seen as a hero in the US. Despite being a Combat Veteran. This is disgusting. I served in the US military alongside many nationalities, minorities, people of all colors and call them all my brothers. Flagler county officials have some serious screws loose.
In this article (https://flaglerlive.com/108589/daniel-noble-probation/)
Daniel Noble the domestic terrorist is commenting himself about the incident and is DOUBLING DOWN ON HIS ACTIONS AND SAYS HE DID NOTHING WRONG. What a douche. You’re a disgrace to the uniform.
(This statement below about sums up Flagler county and rightfully so)👇
In many Americans eyes, this is a total opposite situation of what they believe the reality to be, so they won’t recognize it. An American white guy, committing an action of terror, stopped by an “immigrant” looking guy. It’s called cognitive dissonance. And for it to be true they will have to recognize that their world view isn’t true, and therefor will have to change their belief system. And for many people without the necessary courage that won’t happen. It’s like telling a Christian that God doesn’t exist.