Deputy Jason Platt, 31, of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, was suspended after an investigation found he violated department policies after a Burger King restaurant incorrectly filled his wife’s cheeseburger order.
The incident happened the evening of March 7 when Platt’s wife, Tara Platt, received what she said was the wrong order at a Burger King in Lakeland. The store manager, Jennifer Oliver, said she tried to smooth over the dispute by offering Tara Platt a free meal.
Platt refused and threatened to have police “straighten the matter out,” the report says. She then called her husband to tell him about her burger problem.
The restaurant is outside the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, so Platt called Lakeland police officer Tammy Hathcock, a personal friend, and asked her to respond.
Platt then went to the restaurant and asked for the driver licenses of the store manager and the drive-through attendant, Dulcey Tarver. “The worker asked why I needed her information,” Platt said in a written statement taken during the investigation. “I advised her it was in reference to the disturbance that occurred with a customer.”
Officer Hathcock arrived outside. While Platt was talking with her, the store manager asked for his name. He continued to talk with Hathcock without giving the manager his name, according to the investigative report. The manager took down his tag number. Hathcock refused to get involved in the situation.
Platt, who was on duty at the time, was suspended for 16 hours after the Sheriff’s Office found he violated its policies prohibiting involvement in family-related disputes, exhibiting conduct unbecoming to a deputy and for refusing to give a Burger King manager his name.
“I find it disturbing that a deputy sheriff would tarnish the image of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office by getting involved in a dispute over a cheeseburger order at Burger King,” wrote Platt’s commander, Capt. Kevin Widner.
Tara Platt was later interviewed by the investigator and said she never asked her husband to come to the restaurant.
Platt joined the Sheriff’s Office in August 2005 and earns about $41,000 annually. The suspension cost him about $315. He declined a request for comment. The Burger King manager also declined to comment.