Charles Jeffery Rhoads is a deputy at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) in Florida, United States. On August 15, 2020, he encountered Kevin Wygant, an African-American man born in 2001, outside a Tijuana Flats fast food restaurant at 13860 Wellington Trace in Wellington, Florida.
At around 9 p.m. that day, Rhoads was one of the cops who responded to the restaurant after getting a call about unwanted guests including Wygant and Numa Jean-Bernard, a resident of Royal Palm Beach in Florida who was born in 2002. The two teenagers were charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
PBSO Sergeant James Benedict asked Wygant to leave but the latter kept coming back so he was arrested. While handcuffed, the arrestee argued with Rhoads saying, “Yes, I do have the freedom of speech.”
“Not to us,” Rhoads responded. “You don’t.”
“Oh, I don’t have the freedom of speech to you?” Wygant asked. Rhoads pushed the African-American teenager face first into a wall.
“F**k no,” Rhoads answered after leaning in close to Wygant’s ear. “I’m gonna show you what f**king freedom of speech is.”
The encounter was recorded by a bystander in a cellphone video. Here are 13 more facts about Rhoads:
- He was born on January 31, 1976.
- He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. He previously lived in other parts of Florida namely Haverhill, Riviera Beach and Wellington.
- Among his family and relatives are Mary Rhoads Hammontree, John V. Rhoads, Nicole Hettich Rhoads, John C. Rhoads, Beth Ann Rhoads and Shirley Love Rhoads.
- He has two sons namely Merrick Rhoads and Aydens Rhoads.
- He is a former U.S. Army soldier.
- In 2002, he used P.O. Box 11633, Killeen, Texas 76547-1633.
- He has been employed by the PBSO since 2008.
- He previously lived in Killeen, in Livermore, California, USA and in Fort Rucker, Alabama, USA.
- He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. He received his purple belt from professor Wally Holem at Gracie Barra in West Palm Beach on May 3, 2017.
- He was engaged to his best friend named Tina on May 9, 2017. They met in 2014. They are fans of Jason Aldean.
- On August 25, 2017, he attended the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) 2017 World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
- On August 17, 2020, the PBSO placed him on administrative leave.
- His phone numbers are (561) 965-1647 and (407) 965-1647.