South Florida

Drunk deputy beat, bit and poured alcohol on a woman’s head during argument, cops say

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New Year’s Day didn’t begin well for a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy or the woman he was with after a party.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Kevin Baker, who has been with the department since 1992, started fighting with Loren Nillon while they were at a New Year’s Eve party. Before they left, Baker, 52, twisted her right arm as the two got into a car to head home around 3 a.m.

The arrest report says that Baker was “verbally abusive” as Nillon drove home and that he pulled the key out of the ignition as the car was still in motion. Baker demanded that Nillon let him drive, which he did, “recklessly ... to the residence, threatening her the entire way.”

Once the pair made it home, Baker, police say, got a bottle of alcohol and tried to leave the house, which led to more arguing.

This time, a witness was in the house.

According to the report, Nillon called out for that unnamed witness to record the argument. Baker, the report says, emptied the bottle over Nillon’s head and then swung the bottle toward her. As she tried to dodge the projectile, it hit her on the left eyebrow.

Baker then fell to the ground and Nillon jumped on his back “as he continued to verbally assault her.”

During the struggle, the affidavit says that Baker bit Nillon on the right forearm. Deputies then arrived and took him into custody.

The witness said he did hear the argument, saw Baker pour the alcohol on the woman’s head and filmed the incident, “but did not capture the battery.”

The report did not state the relationship between Baker and Nillon.

Therese Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, issued a statement on behalf of the PBSO:

“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust. Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct.

“This misconduct was reported, investigated and subsequently determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in his arrest,” the statement continued. “He is currently on administrative leave with pay. The Sheriff’s Office will remain vigilant to insure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect.”

Baker was charged with a felony count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and released after posting $10,000 bond.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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