WCUA official arrested for attempting to solicit 14-year-old

By Jarrett Guthrie, Editor

Updated: 4:30 p.m.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) issued a press release on Thursday stating that HCSO communications department senior manager Jonathan Hagen, 34, was arrested by the Clearwater Police Department (CPD) for “his involvement in the luring of a child for sexual activity.”

West Coast Umpires Association official Jonathan Hagen was arrested by the Clearwater Police Department on charges of attempting to solicit what he believed to be a 14-year-old minor, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office release stated. Hagen, 34, is employed by the HCSO as a communications department senior manager.

Hagen is also a board member and official for the West Coast Umpires Association (WCUA) – the officiating group that is contracted with Hillsborough County Public Schools to provide officials in baseball.

The press release states that Hagen used the social media app “Whisper” to make contact with someone, “he believed to be a 14-year-old from Clearwater.” However, he was actually in contact with an undercover CPD detective and exchanged multiple messages.

Hagen has worked for WCUA for multiple years including the 2023 season, and was the current Vice President of the organization for this spring baseball season. He has worked for the HCSO since 2014 according to the release, and it also stated that he has been placed on “administrative leave without pay,” pending the investigation of charges, which include four counts of “use of a computer to seduce, solicit, or lure a child,” and three counts of “transmit(ting) material harmful to a minor.”

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister was quoted in the official HCSO release as saying: “I’m absolutely appalled by this man’s inexcusable behavior. This act goes against everything we stand for at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. This individual’s disturbing actions do not represent the dedicated, hard-working, and upstanding employees here at HCSO. We remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.”

813Preps contacted Hillsborough County Athletic Director Lanness Robinson on Thursday afternoon to inquire if anyone from the WCUA had reached out to him or his office to report the incident or any ongoing investigation or suspension. Robinson said that the call was the first he had heard of the incident.

“This sounds just awful,” Robinson said. “But obviously, just learning about it, I have no further comment at this time, other than to say I will pass it on to our powers that be and get some direction from them before we move forward.”

Two private school head coaches in Hillsborough County have indicated that the WCUA has not contacted them about the incident either.

Current WCUA president John Rosick returned our phone call after our initial publishing of this story, and said that he and the organization were aware of the HCSO release, but had no comment at this time about the arrest, but did say the WCUA is taking the allegations very seriously.