Trial witnesses recount experiences with Floyd

nwfdn joey floyd trial
NICK TOMECEK / Daily News
Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM.

CRESTVIEW —A woman who claims she was raped by then-Crestview Police Officer Joseph Floyd on Aug. 31, 2007, testified Thursday for the prosecution in the racketeering case against him.

In a soft voice, the woman told Assistant State Attorney Russ Edgar that on the night of the attack she had gone to confront Floyd about him dating another woman.

“Did he touch you against your will?” Edgar asked.

“Yes,” she answered.

“Briefly describe what he did,” Edgar said.

“He raped me,” she said. “He ripped off my pants and my underwear.”

The woman told Edgar that she ultimately dropped charges she filed with the Fort Walton Beach Police Department “because of what he might do to me and because of who he was, I didn’t think it would go anywhere.”

The prosecution contends Floyd’s criminal enterprise included battering and assaulting civilians and fellow officers, fabricating evidence, lying in reports and physically and emotionally harassing subordinates, including the sexual harassment of female employees.

Edgar followed up testimony from the alleged sexual battery victim by calling another Crestview police officer. Patrolman John Cook told the court he attended a city Christmas party just months after the incident the woman had described. He said at that party he saw Floyd and a “doll placed in the buffet line.”

“The doll was naked and wrapped in duct tape,” he testified.

Cook testified “the defendant had made some kind of joke about it. Made a reference about an allegation made against him in reference to a sexual battery involving him.”

During questioning by Barry Beroset, Floyd’s attorney, the woman who claimed she was raped said she and Floyd were active sex partners and their “very steamy relationship” involved rough sex.

Edgar brought forward a long list of witnesses Thursday who told tales of their encounters with then-Maj. Floyd and the Police Department under the command of former Chief Brian Mitchell.

Officer Caraly Alvarez testified that Floyd was beside himself when she beat out three men to make the Police Department’s SWAT team. She said he told her before she even tried out that “no female will ever be part of the SWAT team.”  After she made the team, Alvarez said Floyd took her to an out-of-the-way place to brief her about life on the team.

“He advised me I was coming into a brotherhood and I was not allowed to break that brotherhood,” Alvarez testified. “He said sometimes they would be (expletive) girls and there would be times I would want to join in as well.”

A police sergeant who was at the meeting with Alvarez and Floyd backed up the woman’s testimony. Both said they talked about complaining, but because of Floyd’s friendship with Mitchell, they realized nothing would come of it.

Former Police Officer Tim White testified that on one occasion following a narcotics buy, he, Sgt. Matt Purvines and Floyd met in a church parking lot where Floyd pulled a Taser off of Purvine’s uniform and chased White across a field and tased him in the back.
“I told him to stop numerous times. Then he tased me,” White testified. “He was laughing.”

“Did you think it was funny?” Edgar asked.

“No,” White replied.

White also testified that Floyd made fun of his weight and size and called him “stupid.”

White testified under use immunity; nothing he testified to can be used against him in his own criminal case. He faces charges stemming from the alleged theft of marijuana the Police Department had confiscated. White is accused of using the stolen marijuana to bolster one of his arrests, and has claimed in a document made public since then that he was acting under orders from his superiors.

Anthony Roca testified he was cajoled into driving to Crestview to sell his grandfather’s prescription pain medicine and was arrested by Floyd and the Street Crimes Unit when he arrived.

Roca said Floyd ordered him out of his vehicle, then struck him with the butt end of a rifle. Edgar presented a photo of Floyd standing behind the handcuffed Roca with his hand under the arrested man’s chin, holding his head up so that a photo — “a trophy shot” Edgar phrased it — could be taken.

Kimberly Torres, an assistant state attorney, testified that she discussed Roca’s case with Floyd. After reviewing photographs taken at the scene, she asked Floyd why it appeared as though Roca had urinated on himself.

She said Floyd told her: “You would have urinated on yourself, too, if I had hit you on the head with a rifle butt and thrown you into the back of a pickup truck.”

Torres also testified that she met with Floyd another time after a questionable arrest. Floyd told her he had tased a man as he was resisting being stopped for running a stop sign on a bicycle.

Their discussion revolved around how many cyclists are pulled over for running stop signs. The charges ultimately were dropped because a person not under arrest cannot, in the eyes of the law, resist arrest.

Amy Green, a former Crestview emergency dispatcher, testified she saw Floyd kick and punch a handcuffed man, then throw the man down on a stairway.

“He threw him on the steps, like slung him,” Green testified. “I just turned around. I was sick to my stomach.”

That man, William Ewing, testified after Green. He said he was riding his bicycle at the time the city was holding a May Day parade, when “out of the blue I was snatched off my bike, punched on and kicked on.”

Richard Corte, another witness, testified that Floyd showed up at his home in Crestview in the middle of the day and threatened him with a gun held close to his side.

Beroset and co-counsel Robert Dees tried to poke holes in each witnesses’ testimony. Several of them had criminal records or were involved in criminal activity at the times of the alleged incidents involving Floyd.

The defense team has not yet made clear what its strategy will be. Beroset has reserved his opening statements for the start of the defense case, which should be early next week.

Contact Daily News Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin at 850-315-4435 or tmclaughlin@nwfdailynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMnwfdn.



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