Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
Special Services Section
- Airport Unit
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport
Derrick Gilbert (Arrested)
Employment: Sarasota Police Department- Patrol Division
Charges: One count of Trespassing on Property other than Structure or Conveyance, one count of Battery, and one count of Domestic Battery.
Kelby Oates (Victim- Uninjured)
Address: 980 2nd Avenue SW, Largo
Tai Christian Gilbert (Victim- Uninjured)
Deputies assigned to the Airport Unit have arrested an off-duty Sarasota Police Department police officer after he refused to leave the airport, battered an Allegiant Airline employee, and battered his adult son.
The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 9, 2018.
The incident occurred at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport located at 14700 Terminal Boulevard, unincorporated Clearwater.
According to deputies, at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 9, 2018, Airport Unit deputies were called to the Allegiant Airline terminal for a report of an intoxicated subject that had been removed from Allegiant Flight #834, departing to Greensboro, North Carolina.
When deputies arrived, they made contact with Allegiant Airline employees who were standing on the terminal ramp with 51-year-old Derrick Gilbert and his son 18-year-old Tai Gilbert.
Deputies say Derrick’s eyes were blood shot and he smelled of alcohol. Derrick was yelling profanities at Allegiant Airline employees and he refused to move into the terminal, away from the aircraft.
Allegiant Airline employees informed deputies that Derrick was on the airplane where he appeared intoxicated. Flight attendants said Derrick was so intoxicated he couldn’t find his seat, had slurred speech, glassed over eyes, and looked confused.
Flight attendants explained they have a zero tolerance for intoxicated subjects and determined Derrick was too intoxicated to fly so they asked him to exit the aircraft. Initially Derrick refused to leave the aircraft but they eventually convinced him to get off the plane.
Deputies warned Derrick that he had to leave the airport or be arrested for trespassing. Deputies say Derrick refused to leave the airport and told deputies they could not arrest him because he was a police officer with the Sarasota Police Department.
Meanwhile, witnesses told deputies that Derrick intentionally pushed Allegiant Airline employee, 25-year-old Kelby Oats, while Derrick was exiting the plane.
Witnesses also informed deputies that Derrick’s son Tai was trying to convince him to leave peacefully when Derrick violently pushed Tai and grabbed Tai by the neck in an angry manner.
Deputies took Derrick into custody and transported him to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
Oats and Tai Gilbert were uninjured.
Allegiant Airlines staff said that there were approximately 133 people waiting to take off on Flight #834 when the incident occurred.
Derrick was charged with one count of Trespassing on Property other than Structure or Conveyance, one count of Battery, and one count of Domestic Battery.
Deputies confirmed that Derrick works for the Sarasota Police Department as a police officer.
The investigation continues.
Derrick Gilbert booking photo.
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