Broward Court

Ex-BSO Deputy Found Not Guilty of Punching Handcuffed Suspect

Fired deputy Jorge Sobrino was found not guilty and wants to return to the Broward Sheriff's Office

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A fired Broward Sheriff’s deputy was found not guilty of punching a man handcuffed to a hospital bed while in custody.

Six jurors took about 40 minutes to determine Jorge Sobrino acted within the law.

Video from Sobrino’s body-worn camera showed him punching David O’Connell in the head at Broward Health North medical center Jan. 2, 2019.

The battery trial of a former Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who was fired after he was caught on camera punching a man who was handcuffed to a hospital bed more than three years ago began. NBC 6's Cristian Benavides reports

O’Connell was arrested at a Walmart almost two hours earlier. He was being treated for scrapes from when his face was on the pavement in the parking lot during the takedown and arrest.

There was a yelp from a Sobrino family member in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Defense attorney Eric Schwartzreich said Sobrino wants his job back.

“In this climate a lot of police officers don’t want their job back because they take criticism,” he said. “There are bad police officers and there are good police officers. He’s a great police officer.”

Sobrino, 24, plans to go to arbitration and seek back pay.

“An arbitrator will decide whether or not he was treated fairly in the administrative process at the Broward Sheriff’s Office which led to Sheriff’s [Gregory] Tony’s decision to terminate his employment,” said attorney Michael Finesilver, with the International Union of Police Associations.

Had he been found guilty of the misdemeanor battery, Sobrino faced up to a year in jail.

He was hired by the Broward Sheriff’s Office in January 2015.

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