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ATCO Sheriff Moore: Deputy suspended following traffic stop indecent exposure investigation

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An Atkinson County sheriff’s deputy has been suspended for two weeks following an investigation that Atkinson County Sheriff David Moore launched after allegations surfaced that the deputy allowed a possible drunk driver go free because the driver exposed herself to him during a traffic stop.



Monday, Sheriff Moore announced on his Facebook page that he was opening an investigation into the allegations. The allegations surfaced after the driver posted a Snapchat video stating that is what happened.



Friday afternoon, Sheriff Moore released a lengthy statement, also to his Facebook page, announcing the conclusion of the investigation. The statement, in its entirety, is below:



“On Monday I was made aware of a video featuring a deputy of mine. We started an investigation to attempt to extract facts from the chaos of social media, sensationalism,  stupid decisions, and ulterior motives. 



“It would have been very easy to simply throw this deputy onto the altar of self preservation. I could simply blame him, condemn him, and fire him. Instead, I chose to base my decision on the facts as best we could determine them to be. 



“Fact 1 is he was dispatched to a call. Fact 2 is he attempted to help the person. Fact 3 is he allowed the situation to devolve to flirtatious activity. Fact 4 is a person chose to make a sensational Snapchat post in order to feed her need for attention. Fact 5 is he cooperated with the investigation and told the truth when he could have chosen not to. Fact 6 is he has the potential to be a very good deputy and serve Atkinson County far into the future.



“All that considered, I have chosen to punish Deputy Felipe Pinzon with a two-week unpaid suspension and not terminate him. I believe that punishment is commiserate with his actions. He can learn from this experience and be a much better human and deputy. With that concluded, let the haters begin hating.



“The following is the summary document of our investigation.



“On May 8, 2023, the Atkinson County Sheriff's Office was made aware of a video that was posted to Facebook involving an Atkinson County Sheriff's Deputy. The video alleged a Quid Pro Quo scenario where the female, Amber Edge, was allowed to drive away intoxicated by exposing her breasts to the deputy. Atkinson County Sheriff's Office initiated an investigation regarding the allegations. The deputy was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The reason for encountering Edge was a 911 call of a suspicious vehicle parked. Deputy Pinzon was dispatched to the scene on Hwy 135 N.



“After posting the original video to Snapchat, Amber Edge posted a retraction of the events on Snapchat and claimed that it was all a joke. Deputy Pinzon stated that most of the time during their encounter was spent attempting to unlock Amber Edge's phone as she was locked out of it, and she appeared to be very distraught about that. Call logs obtained from Tri-County 911 seems to bolster Deputy Pinzon's statements. The investigator does believe however, that the conversation eventually turned flirtatious and resulted in Amber Edge showing Deputy Pinzon a photograph of her breasts and a short video. The investigator, however, does not believe that a Quid Pro Quo scenario existed due to Deputy Pinzon stating that he had no suspicion or reason to believe at the time that Amber Edge was intoxicated. The investigator believes the video that was posted to Snapchat is due to Amber Edge’s histrionic desire for social media attention. With that, the investigator does not believe Deputy Pinzon violated his Oath of Office. However, the investigator does believe that Deputy Pinzon exhibited a lapse of judgement by allowing the encounter and conversation to become flirtatious and allowing Amber Edge to show him a photograph of her breasts.



“For that reason, Deputy Pinzon will be placed on a two-week suspension without pay. Deputy Pinzon will also participate in specific training to avoid this type of situation in the future.”

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