In Volusia County, Florida, Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Zimmerer pulled over 41-year-old Frank Padilla Velez after he reportedly cut across all lanes of traffic.
The officer attempted to speak with Velez before he quickly began resisting and acting out, resulting in the officer trying to handcuff him. It was clear that the officer was struggling to do so when Velez struck the officer in the head with his elbow.
Two civilians that were passing by the incident noticed the officer clearly struggling and decided to jump in and assist. They were able to detain the suspect, even with one of the Good Samaritans sustaining a gash to the forehead.
It was reported that the officer’s body camera footage cut out amidst the struggle, and during that time Velez attempted to bite the officer in the leg.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Department shared a warm Facebook post to thank the two civilians for intervening and to explain the situation in detail.
“We want to send out a big THANK YOU to the two outstanding citizens who stopped to help a deputy who was involved in a scuffle at a traffic stop in Deltona,” the post said. “Deputy Zimmerer was eastbound on Howland Boulevard yesterday afternoon when a black Ford F-150 cut across all lanes of traffic and almost hit him. Zimmerer conducted a traffic stop on the driver, Frank Padilla Velez (DOB 5/17/1980), whose behavior was erratic.”
“When Zimmerer attempted to place handcuffs on him, Padilla hit Zimmerer in the head with his elbow, knocking the handcuffs into the middle of the road, and started fighting him,” the post continued. “Two witnesses saw what was happening and jumped out of their vehicles to help. Padilla thrashed on the ground and tried to bite Zimmerer’s leg. A Taser had no effect on him. The struggle caused the deputy’s body camera’s main power button to switch off before more deputies got to the scene and helped take Padilla into custody.”
Frank Padilla Velez was later arrested and charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, careless driving, and an expired registration.