Ocala, Florida — A convicted child molester, being transported to prison, was attacked by other inmates on the transport van on November 3, 2014. Ocala Police Officers responded to the scene.
Edward Rogalski, 58, is a Florida Corrections inmate, and was being transported by U.S. Corrections employees to the Charlotte Correction Institute in a white van with 11 other inmates. Officers Peck and Jacques were guarding the inmates.
The officers had parked their van at the Burger King located at 3478 NW Blitchton Road, so the two officers could get a bite to eat.
Officer Jacques went inside to order, while Officer Peck watched over the inmates.
According to reports, the 11 other inmates believed that Rogalski was a child molester and began beating him inside the van.
Officer Peck stated that he quickly circled around to the side door and opened it in an attempt to stop the incident. Peck told police that by the time he opened the door, Rogalski had broken free from the inmates.
Officer Peck told police the other inmates had already calmed down and were no longer a threat to Rogalski, but Rogalski continued to try to escape from the van. According to reports, Officer Peck held on to Rogalski and gave him verbal commands to stop and stay where he was.
According to reports, Rogalski replied, “I don’t care who you are, I’m gonna do what I gotta do.” Rogalski then kicked Officer Peck in the chest, lunged forward, and grabbed the collapsible baton from Officer Peck’s vest carrier.
Officer Jacques saw the disturbance from inside Burger King and ran outside to assist, but did not see how the incident started.
Officer Peck then grabbed Rogalski’s hands and escorted him to the ground onto his back. He was held in that position until OPD officers arrived. Ocala Fire Rescue responded and treated Rogalski at the scene.
Rogalski thanked police for their quick response. He then told police that Corrections Officer Peck had set him up. Rogalski stated that Officer Peck told the inmates, “He is a child molester, have fun with him.”
According to reports, Rogalski told police that he was being beaten and tried to get away from the situation when Office Peck opened the van door. He said he was not trying to escape, but feared for his life.
All 11 of the inmates refused to provide any information to police.
Rogalski was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction by Depriving an Officer of his Protection, and Escape.
Rogalski was sentenced to four years and three months in prison, followed by 10 years’ probation for molesting two 12-year-old girls.
Once convicted of the new crimes, his sentence will be increased.