Several Good Samaritans in Florida stopped and helped a deputy who was being attacked by a driver during a traffic stop, said a local sheriff.
In a news release, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Zimmerer stopped a black Ford F-150 after the vehicle cut across several lanes and almost collided with his vehicle.
The driver, 41-year-old Frank Padilla Velez, according to the deputy’s bodycamera footage, started acting in an erratic manner when the deputy tried to speak with him and asked him what he was doing. Velez then started shouting and ranting incomprehensively, the video shows.
When Zimmerer attempted to place handcuffs on Velez, the suspect then hit the deputy in the head with his elbow and a struggle ensued, the news release from the sheriff’s office said.
Two people saw the melee unfold and jumped out of their vehicles to assist the deputy, according to the office.
The footage released by the sheriff’s office cuts off at one point and shows deputies arriving on the scene shortly after the altercation started, showing Padilla restrained on the ground. One of the men who helped the deputy is seen with a gash on his forehead.
The sheriff’s office said that during the struggle, Zimmerer’s body camera stopped working, and Padilla tried to bite the deputy. Zimmerer then used a Taser but had no effect, the news release said.
Chitwood said that the two individuals who helped subdue Padilla will receive citizen’s awards.
“All my respect and gratitude goes out to these two men who took action when they saw a deputy under attack,” Chitwood said in a statement. “It makes me proud to know that in Volusia County, our residents still have our deputies’ backs.”
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