TAMARAC. FLA. (WSVN) - - Cellphone video footage captured several rough arrests involving teens outside of a McDonald’s in Tamarac near J.P. Taravella High School.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a disturbance outside the McDonald’s along North Pine Island Road and Southgate Boulevard, just before 3 p.m., Thursday.
The teen who recorded the cellphone video said students at the high school had congregated at the McDonald’s to see a planned fight.
However, deputies ended the fight after arriving at the scene.
A responding deputy could be seen in the video pepper spraying a teen.
The same deputy, later identified as Christopher Krickovich, appeared to body slam the teen in the video before slamming his head against the pavement and punching him on the side of his head.
“What are you doing?! He’s bleeding!” a witness could be heard yelling in the video.
Jordan Payne, a concerned witness, told 7News the deputy went way too far.
“Is that a fair way to treat a 13, 14-year-old, however old he may be? That’s a grown man,” said Payne. “You can’t treat a little kid like that. Come on, now. Punching him while he’s on the floor? At that point, you already had him detained. Why go further?”
However, Krickovich claimed he stepped back in a defensive manner and, as a result, feared he was going to get struck.
Officials said two juveniles were taken into custody, late Thursday.
They arrived at the Juvenile Assessment Center with their faces covered.
A third teen was transported to Broward Health Coral Springs for evaluation after pepper spray was used.
Relatives in court Thursday were emotional as they saw their 15-year-old in shackles and handcuffs.
“This family is very upset as to what happened to him, and to see this video all over the TV and to see how he was treated,” said the teen’s attorney Richard Della Fera. “The young boy, we’re gonna get him out of custody, and we’re gonna see what he needs medically.”
The teen was released to his family but not before getting a stern warning from the judge.
“I’m gonna release you to your mother. You understand?” he ordered. “No return to where this occurred. You understand that? And don’t be out with that group of kids. Use your proper discretion, young man.”
According to prosecutors in court, he was originally charged with aggravated assault.
The teen has no prior criminal history.
“I think it was outrageous,” said Fera. “I think anybody in this community who looks at that video would say the same thing.”
However, the judge downgraded the charge.
“The judge correctly noted that this young man did not commit an aggravated assault on an officer,” said Fera.
The teen faces trespassing and resisting arrest without violence charges.
Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen took to Twitter to issue a statement on the incident.
BSO deputies are now investigating the incident.
A video was posted on BSO’s Twitter account on Friday afternoon where Sheriff Gregory Tony addressed the investigation and said he is “very committed to accountability in every case and at all times.”
“Over the next few days, this may take some time for us to look thoroughly into, but understand we will be transparent, and if folks need to be held accountable, it shall be done, so please be patient with us,” Tony said in the Twitter video.
Krickovich has since been placed on restrictive administrative assignment until the investigation is conducted.
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