Threatening phone call investigation leads to deputy suspension

Over 53 threatening calls were made by Flagler County Deputy Dedorious Varnes, according to the sheriff's office. 

That lead to a criminal investigation.

The sheriff's office said the threatening calls were made to a 67-year old man from Palm Coast who was also a victim of a battery.

In February, deputies responded to a call from the victim who said he was battered by a 42-year-old neighbor after the two and another neighbor began arguing about the topic of racism.

As the discussion escalated, the 42-year old allegedly pushed the 67-year-old making him describe the feeling as getting "swung around like a rag doll".

After that, the neighbor left the victim's residence and came back shortly after banging on the door.

The victim told deputies that he began receiving calls from a restricted number while the sheriff's office was at the scene.

The caller asked the victim not to press charges as it would cause emotional damage to the child of the 42-year-old.

At the time it was believed the calls were from the 42-year-old, but the victim told deputies that he never gave his number to the 42-year-old.

On March 9 at a traffic stop, deputies were able to question the 42-year-old on the events that happened back in February.

The 42-year-old claimed to have pushed the 67-year-old out of self-defense.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, deputies informed the 42-year-old that the victim was pursuing charges against him for battery and the case is under review by the state attorney.

In the three months after the incident, the victim received 53 more threatening phone calls from the restricted number, according to officials.

The victim said the caller used racial slurs and called at all hours of the day. 

The victim said he believed the calls were from the 42-year-old, but it was later discovered that the number was linked to Dedorious Varnes, a deputy with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office since January 2018.

According to the sheriff's office, Varnes was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking and is currently being held on no bond.

Officials say Varnes is suspended without pay, but faces termination.