Questions of excessive force are being asked after two Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies were caught on tape arresting a defendant who wound up in the hospital with a severe injury to his eye.
According to the BSO deputies report, two officers went to a Texaco gas station on the 4000 block of North Dixie Highway in Deerfield after a possible theft was reported. The store manager told deputies that a man with a crutch stole candy and beer and left and that he wanted the thief trespass warned.
The officers drove into a nearby trailer park and found a suspect, later identified as 50-year-old David Gonzalez. Officers said Gonzalez began yelling as soon as the deputies got out of their car. Gonzalez returned to the Texaco with the officers.
Deputies said Gonzalez was “clearly under the influence of alcohol because his speech was slurred and he was holding an empty beer can.” The two officers said Gonzalez became “enraged” and then raised his right hand and lunged at one of the deputies.
Deputies said at this point they pushed Gonzalez against the wall of the Texaco station. The officers said they held him against the wall “to calm him” and arrest him, but that he pushed them back. Both deputies said they then both pushed him back against the wall.
One deputy said Gonzalez tried to pull his hands away and they “then escorted David to the ground and secured him in handcuffs without further incident.” Both said Gonzalez hit his face against the ground when they were attempting to handcuff him and that’s when he suffered his injury.
The deputies described the injury as a “laceration on his left eyebrow from when his face his (sic) the ground.”
In Gonzalez’s mugshot after the arrest, his left eye is completely swollen shut and black. He has injuries to his left ear and other parts of the left side of his face.
The BSO issued a statement Wednesday that said Internal Affairs has opened a review of the arrest and that the surveillance video “will aid in the administrative investigation,” but, “detectives will conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of the entire incident to determine if any BSO policies and procedures were violated.”