South Daytona Police Chief Mark Cheatham Photographs Inside of Home Through a Window

Invasion of Privacy

Many times we talk about the police intrusion into our lives and property. The City of South Daytona after a dog complaint call has fined, taken photos over fences, in windows of a womans home and laid off one of their own employees. Ricky Hupp was the employee "laid off" from the city after sometime after this call . We'll go over that shortly.


Police Chief Mark Cheatham

Today we learn that a police chief took a photo through a window inside of a home according to public records requests, (SEE PHOTOS BELOW IN REPORT). The date and time is unknown due to the city refusing to provide the metadata for the photographs. The Chief even went so far as to allegedly sticking the camera over the fence into the back yard. Collecting evidence against a woman for allegedly having too many dogs or the conditions of the dogs.

The Supreme Court already provided that law enforcement can not search a vehicle in curtilage of a home. Collins V Virginia. Curtilage is loosley defined as the property you own and use from day to day. However, law enforcement regularly violates this, entering, taking photographs and video with body camera or handheld cameras. The courts understand that a vehcile is very easy to move from a scene and considered transient wheras a house is a persons castle and protected under the 4th amendment for unreasonable searches and seizures.

Strange events

Generally you do not see police administrators responding to calls unless let's say council, mayor or the city manager gets involved, then the chief may go out and handle this himself. That may or may not be the case here but when I worked as a law enforcement officer the chief came out on a shooting, a THI (traffic homicide investigation), but not a dog call. The other reasons that could lead an administrator is the complaintant is a personal friend or someone personally known. Either way it is VERY strange to see this many administrators on this type of call.

What we know now about the call

On 04/25/2022 Ricky Hupp, Lieutennant Pedri, Captain Pignataro and officer Rosa responded to a call at 612 bigtree road according to CAD. The call was for an animal complaint. According to the report the animal control officer found "They were visually excellent heath, both weight wise and skin/teeth" Other issues at the home were referred to code enforcement for compliance. (see full report below)

On 04/27/2022 Ricky Hupp was laid off effective 04/28/2022. I've briefly interviewed the woman who is allegedly in violation of their ordinance and she provided valuable informaton. She is afraid to go to the house due to police retaliation. I had stopped by about 5 times and there was never anyone there. Finally, we connected through the phone.

According to the woman, the city coerced her to surrender the dogs, which she ultimately signed a form releasing the dogs to the city.

According to the woman, Lietutennat Pedri, told her that they were in contact with the doberman rescue service. She later found out that no one contacted the rescue however, the doberman rescue company was able to retrieve the dogs from the city and hold them for safekeeping according to the woman.

She was issued several fines for the dogs. Prior to the publication of this article an anonymous tip was provided related to this incident that there was no cause to seize the dogs. The report from Hupp confirmed that tip. A second animal control officer from the county Dillon Wulf also onfirmed no neglect. (see below)

This may be why Lieutennant Pedri was on the call, as well as, Captain Pignataro. I am still attempting to discover this through public records but the city refuses to provide records under statutory guidelines charging for every single thing that is requested DIGITALLY, photographs, reports, metadata, BWC and so on.

The story continues with more than just dogs. Allegedly the city brought a dump truck up and threw away personal belongings that were in and around her front porch according to the woman. I am seeking information on that as soon as it's available I will update this post. The woman told me via a phone call that she is afraid to go back to the home due to fear of retaliation from police and further harassment as she felt she received when she went there to go cut her grass and the cops rolled up.

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I have requested body worn camera from the police department but they refuse to provide it at the statutory rate allowed according to FSS 119. So we will hopefully have that soon.

Case of Animal Cruelty

Pictured Right - Kevin Pedri, now lieutennant former sheriffs sergeant
Steve Pignataro - Now captain - Pictured as sergeant in this photos
Photo courtesy of - Daytona News Journal Artcile