County Reacts to Greene Sergeant's Arrest

Posted: Updated:
Sgt. Robert Beverage Sgt. Robert Beverage

After 24 years with the Greene County Sheriff's Office, a sergeant is facing serious charges. Sgt. Robert Beverage, 56, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of soliciting a minor online.

The feeling among those who knew him is one of disbelief. There is a range of emotions throughout the county as people who know this long-time sheriff's deputy face a host of questions.

"Almost everybody I talk to is like, "hey, did you hear the Greene County news?," said Faye Williams, county resident.

It's the latest in a series of headlines from Greene County. 

"He was always just a really, really nice guy, and just trustworthy and everything else. Very surprising," said Jay Thisdell, county resident.

"When I'd seen that on TV I said, 'man, not Bob.' It surprised me, it really surprised me. It shocked me," said Thomas Wise, county resident.

Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith referred the investigation to state police two weeks ago.

"We will always do the right thing, sometimes it hurts your own, but you have to do the right thing, to do what's legal," said Greene County Sheriff Steve Smith.

It's the latest scandal to rock the Sheriff's Office, coming on the heels of an embezzlement case that made headlines last year. Now, Smith says it's time for the department to tighten things up.

"This is stuff that has taken place over a couple years, and we are trying to get this stuff - we are getting this stuff straightened out now," said Smith.

Beverage was fired from the Sheriff's Office Wednesday after his arrest. Some neighbors are concerned about what this means for the community.

"These are the people we trust our kids with, and then you find out something like this - who can you trust?" said Williams.

But many say they will withhold judgment until Beverage shares his side of the story.

"I wouldn't want to judge him now; let him have his day in court, see what turns out," said Thisdell.

Investigators with the Virginia State Police are still gathering information in the case. Beverage is out on bond Thursday, and expected to appear in court on October 17.