Veteran Bay County Florida Deputy Sheriff David “Chris” Eaves Suspended Amid Sexual Battery Investigation

LYNN HAVEN, FLORIDA — A decorated Bay County Sheriff’s deputy has been suspended as authorities investigate allegations he attempted to force himself on a female acquaintance.

Deputy David “Chris” Eaves was suspended with pay Thursday night after the Lynn Haven Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement began to investigate allegations of attempted sexual battery against him, said Maj. Tommy Ford with the BCSO.

Eaves, who was not on duty at the time of the alleged incident, has not been arrested or charged and “there is no allegation that a sexual battery took place,” Ford said.

“Due to the seriousness of the allegations, the sheriff has suspended him,” Ford said. Eaves’ suspension is open-ended, pending the results of the LHPD and FDLE investigations, Ford said.

The details of the allegations are unclear. The LHPD had not finalized its report on the initial incident, and investigators with the department declined to comment on the ongoing investigation except to say the report should be available Tuesday.

In addition to the criminal investigation, Eaves is the subject of an internal investigation to determine if he violated any BCSO policies, Ford said. Ford said the internal investigation will be conducted in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the criminal investigation.

Eaves, a sergeant in the BCSO warrants division, has been with the BCSO since 2007 and had been assigned to SWAT and the Repeat Offender Gang (ROGUE) Unit. Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, he worked for the Panama City Beach Police Department for six years, from which he resigned in 2006. Before that he was with the Memphis (Tenn.) Police Department for about two years.

He received a commendation from Sheriff Frank McKeithen for his work with the ROGUE Unit in May and was awarded a Medal of Distinction in May 2009 for his role in the apprehension of armed suspects who fired shots from a vehicle as they fled police after a bank robbery in Panama City Beach.

In that incident, Eaves was behind the wheel of the primary pursuit vehicle. He rammed the suspects’ vehicle and brought the pursuit to a conclusion.

Eaves could not be reached to comment for this report.

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