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South Florida Prison Guard Arrested for Flashing DOC Badge and Making Traffic Stop at Gunpoint

by Jo Ellen Nott

On October 3, 2022, a Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) guard was arrested after a road rage incident in which he allegedly flashed his DOC badge and used a gun to pull over a woman driving with two other adults and two children near Fort Lauderdale.

The incident apparently unfolded after the unnamed woman driving a blue 2018 Ford Fusion cut off the guard, Eric Tyre Harris, 53, who was driving his personal vehicle in busy Monday-morning traffic. He then followed her to the next traffic light. There he exited his vehicle and flashed his DOC badge, telling the driver to pull over and challenging her: “You think this [is] funny?”

When the light turned green, the driver hurried away, disbelieving that Harris was a cop. Harris got back in his vehicle and followed her.

In a nearby Walgreens parking lot, he cornered her car. Surveillance video shows what happened next: The woman tried to drive around Harris’ car but struck it. Harris then pulled out a black Sig Sauer P320 .40 caliber pistol and ordered the three adults in the Ford to exit the vehicle and lie face down on the ground. The car’s other two occupants were a pair of minor children in the back seat, investigators said.

One of the adult passengers called 911 and stayed on the phone with a dispatcher until Broward County Sheriff’s deputies arrived. During questioning, detectives said Harris admitted to showing his DOC badge and pulling out his handgun. But he claimed he did so because he thought he smelled an odor of marijuana and could not ascertain whether the driver was armed. He ultimately acknowledged that he never identified himself nor saw any of the victims display a weapon, authorities said.

The names of all five passengers in the Ford were redacted from the incident report. Harris was arrested and charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. He was released from the Broward County Jail on October 4, 2022, on bonds totaling $30,000.


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