A Florida sheriff is speaking out about the arrest of Oklahoma mental health commissioner Terri White. The new details tell a different story than what White said happened on the family vacation.
White originally told News 9 in a statement that she was upset that a Walton County, Florida, sheriff's deputy arrested her after she called 911 to report her brother pushing her into a wall, but the sheriff said White is the one who brought this upon herself.
“I expect this behavior from children, not adults,” said Walton County, Florida, Sheriff Michael Adkinson Jr.
The Oklahoma Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services commissioner spent just eight hours in a north Florida jail on July 21, charged with battery on her brother. The arrest report shows White's brother Kevin refused to come eat dinner with the family as he sat at his laptop. Adkinson said White then chose to escalate the situation by throwing water in his face.
“We can’t live in a society where, if I don’t like what you say, I’ll walk up and splash water in your face and you can’t do anything about it,” says the sheriff.
Despite White's brother responding by pushing her into a wall, deputies placed her under arrest as the aggressor.
In her statement to News 9, White insinuated she would not have been arrested if the dispute happened in Oklahoma, and that was supported in a statement by Governor Mary Fallin, but the sheriff disagrees.
“She has suggested that we need de-escalation training. I actually think de-escalation training is a wonderful training for every police department or sheriff’s office. However, I think she should probably take some of her own medicine in this regard,” Adkinson said.
Adkinson went on to say the only reason the charges against White were dropped is that everyone involved in the case lives out of state.
“It was dismissed not because of the lack of merits of it, but the fact that it’s a misdemeanor and all parties involved live in Oklahoma,” said the sheriff.
Representatives for both White and Governor Fallin declined to give News 9 updated statements in response to the sheriff's account of events.