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Deputy who hit, killed 15-year-old suspended following investigation, will not face criminal charges

Posted at 9:19 AM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 10:19:50-04

The deputy who hit and killed a 15-year-old who was crossing a Tampa street back in January will be suspended five days, and no criminal charges will be filed.

An internal investigation was conducted on the January 11 incident.

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15-year-old Josiah Pinner and a friend were crossing the street. HCSO says the street was dimly lit and it was after sunset.

Deputy Montesi noticed a bike he believed was being walked across the street by a pedestrian. Montesi had a green light, and the pedestrian was crossing outside the crosswalk. Montesi reportedly tried to change lanes to avoid the pedestrian, but he instead hit a second pedestrian, Josiah Pinner.

Pinner died at the scene.

"That’s what makes me angry, he took my son and only got a five-day suspension," Jesse Pinner, Josiah's dad said. "That just shows you how that badge protects them."

Josiah's family want Montesi fired and to face criminal charges.

"They are defending one of their own," Tammy Pinner, Josiah's grandmother said. "We would be charged with speeding, careless driving, everything that he hasn’t been charged with we would be charged with."

HCSO deputy who hit, killed 15-year-old was going 21 mph over speed limit at time of crash

An internal administrative investigation determined Montesi was speeding, despite not being involved in emergency operations at the time, thus violating the Sheriff's Office Standard Operating Procedure.

For this violation, Deputy Montesi will be suspended for five working days without pay and required to attend an advanced driving course.

The Sheriff's Office says his actions and conduct are held to the same standards required of any citizen who would have been driving on N. Florida Ave that evening.

HCSO also says there was no probable cause to pursue criminal charges against Deputy Montesi.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's report determined that Josiah Pinner had THC (marijuana) in his system at the time of this crash.

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The State Attorney's Office agreed that no criminal charges were appropriate in this matter.

Edward Reyes, the attorney for Josiah's family, said he wants Montesi to issues a public apology for taking Josiah's life.

"We want to see that he truly felt remorse for his actions," Reyes said. "I think he should get fired at bare minimum and terminated indefinitely. It’s not enough; it’s not enough. I mean how do you value a child? How do you value life?"

Reyes said they will still be pursuing criminal charges against Montesi and plan to file a civil suit.

The sheriff's office would not comment on camera because of the lawsuit against the department.

"I’ll never give up, you know, I’m going to forever fight for my son," Jesse Pinner said. "I’m going to forever be his voice, and forever be my son's keeper always until the day I die."