ORLANDO, Fla. – Soccer fans turned on an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy trying to break up a fight after a match Sunday. The deputy was injured in the attack, police said.
The deputy, who wasn’t immediately identified, was working extra duty at the Orlando City soccer home opener, which was the team’s first game in their new stadium, reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Soccer fans turn on deputy
When the game ended shortly before 8:00 p.m., the deputy was near 595 West Church Street, when a fight broke out. As he tried to break up the brawl, people turned on him.
Several people involved in the fight started “striking and choking the deputy until assisting units arrived,” said Orlando Police Lt. Robert Bear.
The deputy was in full uniform while working the event. Bear said the attack was unprovoked.
Three arrests made
Three suspects were taken into custody, according to Bear. They have not been identified. Police are still investigating the incident, but they believe they have arrested the primary culprits.
The deputy was taken to the hospital with a leg injury but is expected to be all right.
Footage of the incident captured by Brandon Alba and included with the Sentinel report shows a large crowd of people in soccer clothing gathered near a patrol car. Moreover, people in the group are shoving an officer and the officer pushing back. Several other officers are kneeling near the patrol car, appearing to tend to someone on the ground.
Alba said a group of fans of New York City FC, who lost to Orlando City, were arguing with some Orlando fans. He stated that one New York fan started arguing with an officer then things got ugly.
“Things started to get out of hand,” he said. “One of the New York fans started fighting with a cop and even choking him.”
Recent violence against Florida law enforcement
The incident is the latest in a rash of violence against law enforcement in Central Florida. At least 12 officers have been shot or shot at since the start of 2017, leaving one dead and three injured, according to the Sentinel.
The highly publicized shooting death of Lt. Debra Clayton was the start of the violence, just nine days into the new year.
Clayton was shot after confronting murder suspect Markeith Loyd at a Walmart police said.
The latest injury occurred when a robbery suspect shot Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Stelter last week. Fortunately, he is expected to be OK and has been released from the hospital.