Alachua County Sheriff's deputy charged with aggravated assault, battery

Alachua County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Sperring is charged with aggravated assault and battery.

Gainesville Police arrested an Alachua County Sheriff's deputy Wednesday after his girlfriend told officers he threatened her with a gun before sticking it in his own mouth.

Deputy Joseph Sperring, 27, is charged with aggravated assault and battery. The sheriff's office says Sperring has been placed on administrative leave. He's been a deputy since 2014 and was most recently assigned to court security.

A Gainesville Police incident report says officers responded to the woman's home around 3 a.m. Wednesday. The victim told officers Sperring had taken a sleeping pill, but was tossing and turning. The victim said Sperring followed her into her roommate's bedroom, which escalated into an argument. She went to the couch, where he laid on top of her and refused to get off her, the report says.

The victim told officers she repeatedly asked him to leave but he refused, so she called 911. She told officers Sperring asked her to hang up so he wouldn't get in trouble. The argument continued to the point Sperring picked up a gun and told the woman he "would use it," the report says. The victim told officers he then placed the gun in his mouth. She called 911 again and left the home, the report says.

Officers say they found an unholstered, loaded gun in Sperring's bag.

Sperring told investigators the victim's account wasn't accurate but he declined to elaborate, the report says.

The arrest is Sperring's second in eight months. He was charged with DUI with damage to property, a first-degree misdemeanor, and hit and run in December. Both charges were dismissed in March for lack of evidence, according to court records.

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