Florida sheriff in hot water for spinning 'Wheel of Fugitive' on Facebook

Florida sheriff in hot water for spinning 'Wheel of Fugitive' on Facebook
Florida lawmakers propose 'constitutional carry' to allow concealed weapons without licenses

The Brevard, Florida Sheriff, Wayne Ivey, may have had some fun posting weekly “Wheel of Fugitive” videos - but he’s now found himself in hot water.

For years, Ivey has posted YouTube videos using to highlight a different fugitive each week by spinning a wheel and having it land on a specific person.

The videos have been subject to criticism and ridicule online.

But now there are real-life implications for Ivey as one man is suing Ivey for defamation, claiming he was not a fugitive when he was featured on the weekly YouTube video between January and February 2021.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The man, David Austin Gay, says Ivey’s show cost him his job and impacted his mental health in a lawsuit filed last week.

Gay claims he was either sitting in jail after turning himself in, on probation, or already released when he was featured on the Wheel of Fugitives.

“As he drove to his first day of work, his new employer informed him by phone to not bother showing up as he had seen Gay in Ivey and/or [Bevard County Sheriff’s Office] 'Wheel of Fugitive' videos," attorney Jessica Travis wrote in the complaint.

Wheel Of Fugitive With Sheriff Wayne

"No one has the right to cause compliant citizens to lose their jobs or live in fear of confrontation or arrest; not even the Sheriff," Travis added.

The complaint also says the videos caused Gay to become depressed and anxious as well as damaged his reputation.

In previous interviews with Florida Today,Gay said the experience was "humiliating."

At the time, Gay said, "Something needs to be done about it. [The sheriff] should probably fact-check everything before he goes showing the whole world talking, telling everybody people's fugitives when they're not."

It is unclear how much Gay is seeking in damages.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)