LEHIGH ACRES, FL – A Lee County Sheriff’s deputy was reportedly attacked by a male suspect while he was attempting to arrest a combative female suspect during a traffic stop on March 28th.
It is an incident emblematic of that while backup is always ideal with multiple subjects, it is not always immediately available when incidents rapidly devolve into combative scenarios.
Lee County Sheriff’s deputy beaten while making arrest // https://t.co/NTCfFKcmvq
— WINK News (@winknews) March 29, 2021
A yet-to-be identified Lee County Sheriff’s deputy was said to have conducted a traffic stop outside of a Speedway gas station located off of Lee Blvd in Lehigh Acres, Florida on March 28th when things took a turn for the worse – and fast.
The unidentified deputy reportedly pulled the vehicle over for driving on a suspended license. When the deputy approached the vehicle, he reportedly could smell marijuana emanating from the vehicle.
The desolate deputy was trying to place 23-year-old Diaundra Brown under arrest for her allegedly being in possession of drug paraphernalia. However, Brown reportedly began to resist arrest and then started getting combative with the deputy.
Standing on the sidelines watching this scuffle was a second suspect, identified as 21-year-old Jezan Deralus. Roughly about 90 seconds into the scuffle between the deputy and Brown, Deralus allegedly inserted himself into the brawl and started repeatedly punching the deputy in the head and face.
While handcuffed, Brown was said to have sprung herself out of the patrol vehicle while Deralus had the deputy pinned against his patrol vehicle. By some miracle, the deputy was able to break himself out of the entanglement with Deralus and deployed his Taser on both him and Brown before she could get away.
Now the two suspects are facing some serious charges.
Brown was reportedly charged with battery on an officer, resisting an officer with violence, and use or possession of drug equipment. Jail records show that Brown was released from custody after posting bond on March 29th and has a hearing slated for April 26th.
As for Deralus, he was charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on an officer, and driving with a suspended license. He too has since bonded out of jail as of March 30th Ann has his next court appearance slated for April 26th.
Dr. David Thomas, Professor of Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, reviewed the video of the incident, noted that situations like this are partially caused/created by law enforcement officers who may be dialing back their situational awareness or readiness based solely off of the reason(s) why they’re pulling someone over in the moment:
“When you’re dealing with this, what you’re looking at is from the prospective of ‘I don’t see this as a problem’ and ‘this is something I should be able to control without me having to call for back up.’ I guarantee you that’s how it got started and it just went downhill from there.”
Dr. Thomas further noted that so long as law enforcement officers maintain a high level of training, in conjunction understanding that any stop or interaction can go south fast, then they’ll be better poised to avoid or deter escalations of this magnitude:
“If they are trained properly and if their readiness is at a particular level where it should be, I think it becomes the norm. They should always expect the unexpected.”
The deputy who was injured during the incident was said to have been treated at a local hospital for their injuries and should fully recover without any issues.
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Law Enforcement Today has covered numerous reports on traffic stops that evolve rapidly, such as one we covered back in March that occurred in New Mexico.
Here’s that previous report.
LAS CRUCES, NM – Body camera video released on March 25th shows the harrowing moment a Las Cruces police officer was dragged by a fleeing vehicle, prompting his backup to open fire. The incident ended with the driver behind bars and his passenger with a gunshot wound.
The incident began February 3 when police stopped a Chevy Tahoe being driven by Joel Orozco for speeding and driving erratically. The initial officer radioed for backup after observing a knife inside the vehicle.
The officer ran a check on the driver’s license and discovered he had a felony warrant for his arrest. Officer J. Herrera and assisting officer M. Carrera returned to the truck and asked Orozco to turn off the vehicle and step out.
The Las Cruces Police Department released body camera video capturing an officer-involved shooting in February.https://t.co/zf3hosdUFQ
— KTSM 9 News (@KTSMtv) March 20, 2021
Orozco refused to exit the vehicle and began to drive away. Officer Herrera opened the driver’s side door and grabbed the steering wheel in an attempt to stop the vehicle, which resulted in him being dragged across the road by Orozco’s vehicle.
The body camera video was obscured by the officer being dragged, but multiple shots could be heard being fired. Another view from Officer Carrera’s body camera showed him open fire on the Chevy as it dragged his partner.
Officer Herrera could be seen being dragged across the road and a raised curb before falling to the ground. The Chevy driven by Orozco continued fleeing as Officer Carrera ran to check on Officer Herrera.
Police report that Orozco abandoned the vehicle nearby and was arrested a short time later. A female passenger in the vehicle suffered a gunshot wound and was treated at a local hospital. Her identity has not been released.
Officer Herrera suffered a fractured leg and is recovering from his injuries.
Orozco has been charged with aggravated battery on an officer and fleeing.
Las Cruses was the scene of another dramatic video of an officer-involved shooting on February 4 when authorities engaged in a shootout with a man suspected of killing a New Mexico State Police officer.
New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott, assisting Homeland Security Investigations, pulled over a white Chevrolet pickup truck being driven by Omar Felix Cueva near milepost 101 on Interstate 10 east of Deming. During the traffic stop, Cueva opened fire and killed Jarrot, said State Police Chief Robert Thornton.
New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott, 28, was shot and killed last week after a suspect opened fire during a traffic stop. Jarrott was a father of three with another baby on the way. REST IN PEACE 🙏 https://t.co/8zu2lyOJgC pic.twitter.com/hQ0IUbKH0b
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) February 10, 2021
Thornton said area police were notified of the suspect’s vehicle, and Cueva was pulled over again near mile post 116 on I-10 by Las Cruces police. Following an exchange of gunfire between Cueva and police, the pursuit continued along I-10.
At mile post 135, as Cueva neared Las Cruces, police were able to deflate the tires of the pickup, Thornton said. Then, near mile post 140 — just before the Avenida de Mesilla exit — a Las Cruces Police officer performed a pursuit intervention technique, or PIT maneuver, on Cueva’s pickup and both vehicles came to a stop.
Part of the incident was caught on video by Austin Contreras, who was working on a gate at Trail West near I-10 when he heard the pursuit approaching.
“It was shocking, I mean, nobody expected it to end in a gunfight.”
Cueva and officers from several agencies exited their vehicles. Following another exchange of gunfire, Cueva was struck and killed. One Las Cruces officer was also shot. The officer was transported to El Paso Hospital where he was treated and released.
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