Aurora, Ohio officer arrested after pointing gun at driver in Florida, police say

Aurora, Ohio officer arrested after pointing gun at driver in Florida, police say
Officer Joseph LaPerna

AURORA, OH (WOIO) - Florida State Highway Patrol troopers arrested an Aurora police officer for allegedly pointing a gun at another motorist during a road rage incident.

Aurora, Ohio officer arrested after pointing gun at driver in Florida, police say

This happened around 10:45 a.m. on March 2 on I-75 in Lee County, Fla.

According to troopers, Joseph LaPerna, 48, was driving southbound on I-75 when he allegedly pointed a Glock 43 at people in a Toyota Corolla.

LaPerna was eventually stopped by troopers and Collier County deputies on Pine Ridge Road near Seagate Drive in Naples.

LaPerna was charged with aggravated assault and improper exhibit of a firearm and transported to the Lee County Jail.

Aurora Police Chief Brian Byard said LaPerna has been with the Aurora Police Department since November 1, 1995.

Officer Joseph LaPerna (Source: Aurora police)
Officer Joseph LaPerna (Source: Aurora police)

The below information is from LaPerna’s personnel file from the Aurora police department.

2004 Officer LaPerna served a two week unpaid suspension for improper conduct

2006 Officer LaPerna was terminated after an off duty road rage incident involving Joe LaPerna and a resident. The union (OPBA) fought the termination and Officer LaPerna was reinstated after an arbitrator granted LaPerna his job back, which did not include back pay or benefits for his time off. As a conditional requirement of his return to work Officer LaPerna was required to undergo a fitness for duty examination and counseling for anger management and placed on a one year "last chance agreement".

2007 Officer LaPerna was written up for improper conduct as it relates to the handling of evidence.

April 2010 Officer LaPerna was disciplined for leaving his firearm unsecure inside his locker

September 2010 Officer LaPerna received a verbal reprimand for Insubordination which pertained to an Officer Safety issue.

September 2010 Officer LaPerna was recognized by Mothers against drunk drivers for his efforts in removing impaired drivers from the roadway.

November 2010 Officer LaPerna struck a deer with his patrol vehicle.

October 2011 Officer LaPerna received a written reprimand for "Failing to Follow a Direct Order from a Supervisor"

January 2013 Officer LaPerna received a letter of counseling for "unprofessional behavior" during a traffic stop with a citizen.

September 2013 Officer LaPerna struck a small pole while backing up.

February 2014 Letter thanking Officer LaPerna for his assistance during a hit-skip accident

December 2014 Officer LaPerna was counseled for disrespectful and discourteous behavior toward a citizen on a traffic stop.

December 2014 Officer LaPerna was written up for unauthorized access to a dispatch workstation.

2015 Officer LaPerna was recognized by MADD for his efforts in arresting OVI Offenders.

September 2015 Officer LaPerna was issued a written reprimand for unsafe speeds and unsafe acts during a vehicle pursuit.

November 2015 Officer LaPerna received a counseling letter for unsafe driving while responding to a call for service.

November 2015 A complaint was received on Officer LaPerna for discourteous and rude behavior toward a citizen on a traffic stop. Officer LaPerna contradicted the statement and the allegation could not be confirmed or denied since Officer LaPerna's body mic was disabled.

February 2016 reprimanded for sick leave abuse

February 2016 Letter from Thank You letter

December 2016 Officer LaPerna was suspended for unsafe driving

July 2017 Officer LaPerna was written up for rude and discourteous behavior toward a resident. As a result he was sent home for the day and required to complete several classes which were "Professional Policing and the Public", "Positive Ways to be Successful", "Overall Job Preparedness", Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy" and "Blue Courage".

2017 Officer LaPerna was written up for sick leave abuse

December 2017 Officer LaPerna was disciplined and required to forfeit Holiday Pay as a result of poor decision making involving a traffic stop with an elderly resident.

January 2018 Letter thanking Officer LaPerna for his assistance during a house fire.

May 2018 Letter from resident thanking Officer LaPerna for assisting her with getting into her home after she locked herself out.

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