TAMPA, Fla. — The proof is in the bodycam worn by a Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy when he pulled over a Ferrari doing 95 miles an hour on Jan. 13.
The video appears to show the vehicle’s owner, a man behind the wheel, as the deputy collects the license and registration and then walks back to his cruiser. Minutes later, the footage captures Deputy Zackary Powers, returning to the Ferrari and handing the driver a ticket.
But that same citation is for Julie Johnston, the driver’s wife, who wasn’t even in the vehicle that night.
“I’ve never had a traffic citation in my life and to see I was issued a ticket incorrectly — I wasn’t even present when this violation — occurred was really frustrating,” Johnston said.
She tried calling the Clerk of Court and the Sheriff’s Office but couldn’t get either agency to dismiss the ticket.
“They said you have to leave a message with the deputy, and I said, ‘can I talk to his supervisor?’ they said, ‘no, you can’t,'” Johnston recalled the conversation.
Johnston made a call for action to Jackie Callaway. ABC Action News reviewed the video and found the deputy wrote Johnston’s name on the ticket meant for her husband.
Both Johnstons are listed on the vehicle’s registration which may have contributed to the deputy’s error. We contacted the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office about the case. Julie said they quickly responded.
“After I contacted you about 30 minutes later, I got an email from HCSO public relations,” Johnston said.
Three days later the sheriff’s office wrote to the Clerk of Circuit Court asking that the ticket be dismissed.
“This has been taken care of, and Deputy Powers has attempted to contact the complainant to address the ticket issue,” stated an email a sheriff’s spokesperson told us.
The sheriff’s office says the error occurred when the deputy entered information in their online system. The sheriff’s office calls what happened a one-time error, so the deputy was not reprimanded.