Orange County deputy charged with battery in domestic abuse incident, sheriff’s office says

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An Orange County deputy is facing a battery charge for a domestic abuse incident involving his ex-girlfriend, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputy Marcus Ghent, 28, was arrested Wednesday for allegedly beating the woman during an argument in a parking lot on North Alafaya Trail near UCF, an arrest affidavit said.

Ghent and the woman dated for a year and a half, she told investigators, and she went to his home Tuesday night to “have a conversation regarding him cheating on her with another woman,” the report said.

The woman told deputies Ghent was sitting inside his vehicle when she arrived so she sat down in the passenger’s side. Ghent asked her to leave the vehicle, the report said, but he eventually drove off with the woman still inside.

They pulled into an empty office complex, she told investigators, then Ghent allegedly tried to remove her from the vehicle.

According to the affidavit, the woman said Ghent “grabbed her braided hair with a fist” and slammed her head against the vehicle.

The woman told investigators she then hit Ghent in the face and they “tussled” on the ground after she got back inside the vehicle three times to retrieve her cell phone.

A man in a white SUV approached them and asked if everything was OK, the affidavit said, but Ghent told him “to mind his own business several times.”

Ghent and the woman eventually left the parking lot and he drove her back to his home so she could get her vehicle, the report said.

Ghent allegedly followed the woman to her Sanford home, and they argued, then he grabbed her phone and ran away, she told investigators.

She went inside and later found her phone on the front porch, but her call log and text messages between her and Ghent had been deleted, the affidavit said.

The woman went to AdventHealth Lake Mary Emergency Room, where she was treated for a small cut on her left knee and right wrist plus a “significant headache” from the impact of the vehicle, according to the report.

Sheriff John Mina said the charge is a “very serious criminal allegation” and that deputies are held to “the highest ethical standards” whether they’re on or off-duty.

“I have a zero tolerance policy toward domestic violence,” Mina said in a statement. “These allegations will be thoroughly investigated and the results of that investigation will be made public.”

Ghent was hired by OCSO in June 2020 and worked in the Uniform Patrol Division. He is suspended without pay, the agency said, and an internal investigation will be conducted after the criminal case is closed.

Online records show Ghent is being held in Orange County Jail without bond.

If you or someone you know is struggling with domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or Florida’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-500-1119. In Central Florida, you can also call the Harbor House’s 24-hour confidential crisis hotline at 407-886-2856.

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