Two Florida citizens came to the aid of a Volusia County deputy on Tuesday when a suspect began fighting with the officer. Volusia County Sheriff said the two will receive citizen’s awards for their help.
Volusia County Deputy Anthony Zimmerer stopped a black Ford F-150 that cut across lanes of traffic, nearly hitting him. The driver, identified as Frank Padilla Velez, 41, started acting “erratically” when the officer attempted to talk with him. You can hear the officer confront Padilla at the beginning of the video with “What are you doing?!!” The Volusia County Sheriff’s office released the deputy’s body cam, which cut out at one point during the altercation. The two Florida citizens jumped out of their vehicles and stepped in to help.
We want to send out a big THANK YOU to the two outstanding citizens who stopped to help a deputy who was involved in a scuffle at a traffic stop in Deltona.
Deputy Zimmerer was eastbound on Howland Boulevard yesterday afternoon when a black Ford F-150 cut across all lanes of traffic and almost hit him. Zimmerer conducted a traffic stop on the driver, Frank Padilla Velez (DOB 5/17/1980), whose behavior was erratic. When Zimmerer attempted to place handcuffs on him, Padilla hit Zimmerer in the head with his elbow, knocking the handcuffs into the middle of the road, and started fighting him.
Two witnesses saw what was happening and jumped out of their vehicles to help. Padilla thrashed on the ground and tried to bite Zimmerer’s leg. A Taser had no effect on him. The struggle caused the deputy’s body camera’s main power button to switch off before more deputies got to the scene and helped take Padilla into custody.
Padilla’s dog, which had jumped out of his truck to protect him, was corralled by one of the witnesses and placed safely back in the truck.
Padilla was charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, careless driving and expired registration.
“All my respect and gratitude goes out to these two men who took action when they saw a deputy under attack. It makes me proud to know that in Volusia County, our residents still have our deputies’ backs.”
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood (Fox)
During the scuffle, one of the Florida citizens ended up with a bloody scratch, but otherwise they were “no worse for the wear.”
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