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Former PBSO deputy, once credited with saving 8-year-old girl's life, sentenced on federal charge

Posted at 7:29 PM, Oct 19, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A former Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy and FBI Task Force Agent sentenced to three years of probation this week for lying on federal records about a traffic crash he caused back in 2013.

Deputy Sheriff Lorenzo Gatti had 24 years of law enforcement experience and one held a top security clearance. He was employed by PBSO, but worked also as a Task Force Agent for the FBI.

Court records show Gatti was driving an FBI vehicle while he was off duty when the crash happened. According to FBI policy, agents are not allowed to drive FBI vehicles off-duty, unless they get it approved by a supervisor first.

An internal affairs recently released by PBSO found Gatti failed to immediately report that crash to his supervisors, mislead them and falsified an official document. 

Over the summer, Gatti resigned while under investigation. A few days later, he plead guilty to making false statements on two FBI document related to the crash.

A judge sentenced Gatti on Monday.

Gatti made headlines back in 2005 when he worked as a detective for the Lake Worth Police Department.  

Court records show he was credited for saving an 8-year-old girl when he found her in an abandoned landfill, buried in a garbage can under 200 pounds of concrete blocks.

The girl had been sexually assaulted and left for dead. Thanks to Gatti and his team. the man responsible got four life sentences for the crime.

A spokesperson with PBSO released this statement saying:

"The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust. Unfortunately, sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct. This misconduct was reported and while being investigated our employee chose to retire. The sheriff's office will remain vigilant to ensure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect."