Tuesday, May 26, 2020
73.1 F

Ex-Ocala police officer accused of lying about high-speed motorcycle crash that killed alcohol-impaired colleague

Daniel Wagner

A former Ocala Police officer admitted that he and another officer had been at his house “putting beers back” before a fatal motorcycle crash in September.

Shawn Sigler, who was assigned to the Community Policing Bureau, resigned from the police department in the midst of an internal affairs investigation regarding the Sept. 19 crash that killed off-duty 43-year-old Officer Daniel Wagner. Florida Highway Patrol reports indicated that Wagner was impaired – his blood alcohol content was .113 – and he was speeding and driving recklessly when he crashed on SW 95th Street Rd. Wagner was thrown from his white Harley-Davidson motorcycle and later transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham requested the internal affairs investigation on Sigler after he provided conflicting statements about his actions to Florida Highway Patrol troopers investigating the crash. Graham initiated the probe to determine the details of the incident and any potential violations of department police, an Ocala Police report states.

FHP investigators determined that someone may have been riding with Wagner when he crashed and after speaking with a witness at the scene and other Ocala police officers, they turned their attention to Sigler. They conducted an interview with him at his home two days after the crash, during which he said, “I know there’s gonna be an internal affairs investigation.”

Sigler told the investigators that Wagner was at his hour prior to the crash and they had been drinking. He also said he had been “drinking all day,” the report says.

One of the investigators told Sigler that a witness – an emergency room nurse who had stopped to help Wagner – reported seeing another motorcycle and the riders were wearing similar vests. But Sigler claimed that Wagner left his house alone and he didn’t find out about the crash until four in the morning. He claimed he had gone to bed after Wagner left and denied leaving with him several times, the report says.

At one point during the interview, Sigler suggested that Wagner may not have crashed but actually “committed suicide because of family issues.” An investigator told him the evidence at the crash scene didn’t support that claim and Sigler then admitted that he did leave his house and was riding with Wagner, the report says.

“We left here, OK, and I’m sorry I (expletive deleted) lied man,” Sigler is quoted in the report as saying.

He went on to tell investigators that he had suggested a good route for Wagner to ride and “he didn’t know what the (expletive deleted) I was talking about.” He said he had told him to go straight when he came to the light at State Road 200 but when he stopped at the red light, Wagner was no longer with him.

“I was like, ‘Well (expletive deleted), I guess he didn’t keep up or decided he didn’t want to (expletive deleted) motor with me,” Sigler said, adding that he then made a right turn and rode back to his house.

This photo was posted on Ocala Police Officer Daniel Wagner’s Facebook page on May 25, 2018. A Florida Highway Patrol report states that Wagner was riding a white Harley-Davidson when he suffered fatal injuries in a crash in September.

Sigler continued to deny seeing Wagner crash even after investigators confronted him with statements made by the ER nurse that another rider wearing a similar vest was at the scene of the crash.

“I lost my (expletive deleted) friend and how do I come out and say neither of us should’ve left here,” Sigler said. “That’s my fault.”

The nurse told investigators she witnessed the crash in her rearview mirror and quickly responded to help Wagner. She said she looked to her right and saw the other motorcyclist ride past her and leave the scene of the crash.

“I looked at him and I thought, ‘Clearly you just saw, who I assumed you were with, flip,” she said.

Eleven days after Sigler submitted his resignation, an FHP investigator spoke with him on the telephone and again offered him the opportunity to make a statement about the incident. But he “respectfully declined,” the report says.

The internal affairs report found that Sigler violated three of the police department’s policies, which included being truthful, obeying laws and ordinances and obeying Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission rules. It also pointed out that in speaking with FHP investigators, Sigler admitted to:

  • Operating his own personal motorcycle while intoxicated; and
  • Traveling at speeds that doubled posted limits, “both of which, if investigated, would have constituted criminal violations of Florida Statutes.”

The report referred to an Ocala Police Department directive that reads: “Members shall observe and obey all laws and ordinances that would result in the member facing misdemeanor or felony charges.” But since Sigler resigned during the internal affairs investigation, he won’t face any disciplinary actions from the police department, the report says.

Photos in Ocala, Florida


Ocala Police seeking help in nabbing thief passing funny money at gas stations

Ocala Police are searching for a bandit who is accused of passing counterfeit money at area gas stations.

Ocala man accused of pointing gun at group from Jeep

A 19-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he allegedly pointed a gun at a group of people twice from the back seat of a moving Jeep.

Dunnellon man jailed on multitude of charges after fleeing from sheriff’s deputies

A Dunnellon man was jailed recently after a Marion County sheriff’s sergeant spotted him driving recklessly and suspected he was impaired.

Belleview man changes story and takes blame for altercation

A Belleview man changed his story and admitted he was at fault during a fight with a man over who was going to move items out of a truck.


Downtown Ocala businesses reopen, many with refurbished digs

Downtown Ocala businesses are reopening this week at reduced capacity, with many having taken the opportunity during quarantine to renovate their establishments.

Leading Marketing Solutions hosting virtual Quarantine Business Expo

The Quarantine Business Expo, hosted by Leading Marketing Solutions, is a virtual event that will serve as a platform for businesses to showcase their services and products to an engaged online audience on May 7 and May 19.

Ocala businesses shutter doors in wake of COVID-19 fallout

Businesses across the city of Ocala shuttered their doors Friday morning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has ground the nation to a halt. 

The Fiery Chef serving up ‘Ready to Eat Meals’ at new east Ocala location

The Fiery Chef has opened the doors on its new east Ocala location in hopes of serving up "Ready to Eat Meals" to the local community. 

Subscribe for email updates

* indicates required


Marion County COVID-19 business survey results show promising future

Even though 87 percent of survey respondents reported that demand in their businesses had declined during the COVID-19 crisis, 80 percent said the pandemic wouldn’t have “permanent adverse effects.”

Ocala Police seeking help in nabbing thief passing funny money at gas stations

Ocala Police are searching for a bandit who is accused of passing counterfeit money at area gas stations.

Ocala man accused of pointing gun at group from Jeep

A 19-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he allegedly pointed a gun at a group of people twice from the back seat of a moving Jeep.

Ocala sets registration requirements for golf carts in downtown area

The City of Ocala will allow the use of golf carts, low-speed vehicles and mini trucks on designated city streets beginning Monday, June 1.

More articles like this