Trial Begins for Former BSO Deputy Accused of Road Rage

The trial of a former Broward Sheriff's deputy accused of battery during an off-duty road rage incident has been declared a mistrial.

Paul Pletcher, 39, is charged with battery, burglary, criminal mischief and theft in the May 23, 2011 incident in Plantation in which Pletcher was off-duty but was armed and driving his patrol car, according to a Broward County arrest warrant.

His trial began on Tuesday and ended in a mistrial on Wednesday when Broward Circuit Judge Michael Usan had a family emergency.

A new judge was called in Tuesday. The new trial date is set for Jan. 22 at 9 a.m.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the warrant, Pletcher got into an argument with a female motorist, allegedly berating her with profanity and yelling racial slurs and "inappropriate hand gestures" before pulling her over.

When Pletcher saw a passenger in her car recording the incident on a cell phone, he allegedly grabbed the phone and her driver's license and drove away.

The phone was later discovered smashed with pieces scattered over several blocks, but the phone's memory wasn't damaged and had captured the encounter, according to the warrant.

When the video was reviewed, officers were able to identify Pletcher, the warrant said.

Pletcher, who had been with the department since October 2004, was arrested in January 2012 and later fired.

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