VERO BEACH, Florida – Darrell Dean Rivers, a Vero Beach police officer who ran for sheriff in 2016, was arrested and charged Saturday after he allegedly punched a woman in the face twice after a night of drinking at a Christmas party, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.
Rivers, 47, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, according to jail records.
Rivers, who has worked with the Vero Beach Police Department for almost 27 years, was a candidate for Indian River County sheriff in 2016.
A call was received at Rivers’ home about 11:00 p.m. by a woman who was upset and visibly angered. She said the verbal argument between her and Rivers had turned physical during the dispute.
Investigators say the woman told them Rivers had been drinking at a Christmas party Saturday night, and returned to the home shortly after, the arrest affidavit said.
“Darrell shoved her to the ground and struck her with the closed fist of his right hand across her left cheek two times,” according to the report.
A deputy said he saw slight swelling on the woman’s cheek from the alleged physical encounter.
However, Rivers told the deputy the woman was hitting him in the neck and face with a metal picture frame, so he pushed her in self-defense, the report said.
When the deputy asked Rivers how the woman received the mark on her face, he stated it must have happened when she fell to the ground, the arrest affidavit said.
The woman also told deputies Rivers had previously battered her.
Rivers was released from jail on his own recognizance and ordered not to make contact with the accuser and to stay within 500 feet away from her. His arraignment was set for Jan. 16.
Vero Beach Police Department spokeswoman Anna Carden confirmed Rivers’ employment with the police department.
DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.
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