CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Charlotte County deputy has resigned after an internal affairs investigation said that he was sending sexual text messages to a young girl. Deputy Gordon Eldridge, who is in his 50's, is accused of sending text messages to a 14-year-old girl.
Eldridge used to be a school resource officer at L.A. Ainger Middle School in Charlotte County. He resigned before deputies could question him about the allegations of sexting.
"Could I just talk to you real quick?" said Genevieve Judge, WINK News reporter.
"No thanks. No comment," said Eldridge.
Through the door of his North Port home, former Deputy Gordon Eldridge told WINK News he didn't want to talk about being accused of sexting a 14-year-old girl.
"No, I've been told that you have to talk to my attorney," said Eldridge.
On his website, Eldridge warns kids of sexting dangers. It was on November 28, Eldridge resigned from his position as a school resource officer, more than a month after he was accused of conduct unbecoming.
Complaints started coming in October, after the girl told her school resource officer at Lemon Bay High, that Eldridge came up behind her and put his hand over her mouth in a playful manner. Eldridge was warned by his supervisors. The girl told deputies she didn't think much of it because she knew Eldridge for several years.
Eldridge is also accused of picking the girl up, taking her to dinner, a high school football game and then driving her home by himself. Eldridge told deputies he felt sorry for the girl because she didn't have a way to get to the game. That same day, Eldridge was told not to have any contact with the girl.
Two weeks ago, the girl again went to her school resource officer about a text message she received from Eldridge. The message said "Yea that's a nice picture on Facebook. Locking lips, ha, ha. Just kidding."
Two days later, the girl texted Eldridge and said "bored." Eldridge texted back and said "start stripping and dance on tables and send pics." Neighbors, who didn't want to be seen on camera, were taken back at the allegations.
ELDRIDGE IS ALSO ACCUSED OF PICKING THE GIRL UP.. TAKING HER TO DINNER.. A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME AND THEN DRIVING HER HOME.. BY HIMSELF. HE TOLD DEPUTIES HE FELT SORRY FOR THE GIRL BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T HAVE A WAY TO GET TO THE GAME. THAT SAME DAY.. ELDRIDGE IS TOLD NOT TO HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH THE GIRL.
"Honestly surprised, I was surprised. I guess we feel that our law enforcement people should be upstanding citizens," said "sally." a neighbor.
Deputies recommended a charge of conduct unbecoming. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office is not commenting on the matter.