A US Navy command master chief was relieved from his leadership position at an ordnance test unit, according to officials from the sea service.
The Cape Canaveral-based ordnance unit’s spokeswoman, April Crew-Kelly, stated that Command Master Chief Tracy F. Kuchta was relieved September 19 “due to a loss of confidence in Kuchta’s ability to perform the duties of a command senior enlisted advisor.”
While the Navy has not gone into details, the move comes after the 41-year-old was arrested by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office the day prior.
According to the Navy Times, Kuchta was accused of hitting another individual before he resisted arrest and was tased.
Kuchta claims his actions were in self-defense, though he faces misdemeanor charges of property theft and resisting arrest without violence.
The career Navy man also faced a misdemeanor battery charge and a felony robbery charge, but managed to evade such charges after prosecutors withdrew them.
Deputies arrived to the 1700 block of Clubhouse Drive at about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 18, according to a deputy’s affidavit entered in Kuchta’s Brevard County court file.
There, Kuchta “appeared to be under the influence of alcohol” because “his eyes were glossy and his speech was slurred,” according to the affidavit.
“I detected the impurities of alcohol coming from his person,” the deputy wrote.
BCSO deputies claim that Kuchta struck a man before taking his iPhone, shirt and shoes. He then reportedly “discarded the victim’s shirt and shoes in a nearby pond.
Deputies found the alleged victim’s iPhone on Kuchta, who told them he was keeping it as “collateral.”
Speaking with the Navy Times, Kuchta said he was riding with his girlfriend back to his house in her golf cart during the evening, and took the woman’s golf cart keys as a joke, causing her to shout.
The victim reportedly stepped in, and attacked Kuchta.
“I started fighting back,” he said.
After the incident, the Navy man said the victim and a friend were hunting him down, prompting him to hide out in the woods about a half mile from his house until the police showed up.
“I was hiding in the woods from the guys, I heard the megaphone from the (deputies’) car … they’re screaming at me to put my hands up,” said Kuchta.
“I have an attorney and am still looking at how to go forward,” he said.
According to law enforcement records, Kuchta resisted arrest and was tased by officers.
Having enlisted in 1997, Kuchta denies the incident went down as reported, and is upset that the Navy described the incident as “alcohol-related.”
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