Video: Good Samaritans aid deputy in traffic stop scuffle

Both citizens will be receiving awards for their actions, the sheriff said


By Suzie Ziegler 

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office praised two citizens who rushed to the aid of a deputy under attack earlier this week. 

According to the sheriff’s office, Deputy Anthony Zimmerer was trying to put handcuffs on a suspect when the man began to resist. The suspect, identified as Frank Velez, hit Zimmerer in the head, knocked the cuffs to the ground and began fighting the deputy. Zimmerer tried to use a TASER but it had no effect. 

That’s when two passersby jumped out of their vehicles to help. Most of the scene was captured by the deputy’s body camera before the struggle caused it to switch off, the sheriff’s office said. 

Velez was booked on a slew of charges including violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and careless driving. 

The sheriff’s office said the two good Samaritans will be receiving citizen’s awards for their actions. 

"All my respect and gratitude goes out to these two men who took action when they saw a deputy under attack,” said Sheriff Mike Chitwood in a statement. “It makes me proud to know that in Volusia County, our residents still have our deputies' backs."

 
Battery on LEO/Citizen assist: 5/18/21

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. Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced that both men who stopped to intervene will be receiving citizen’s awards in recognition of their actions. "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."

Posted by Volusia Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

 

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