Video shows fatal takedown of 75-year-old man in Orange County Jail

William Howard, 75, died two days after 'use of force'

ORLANDO, Fla. – New video shows Orange County corrections officers tackling a 75-year-old man inside his jail cell.

The Orange County Medical Examiner said the man's injuries killed him two days afterward.

[Raw video: Guards use force on 75-year-old inmate]

According to his arrest report, William Howard was arrested on Nov. 16, 2016, after his wife said he "began to act strange."

She said he attacked her in the front yard of their Orlando home, beating her and stabbing her with a kitchen knife.

The man who had never been arrested before now faced an aggravated battery charge.

Two days later, the video shows corrections officers trying to coax Howard out of his solitary cell.

He appeared confused as one officer tried to show him where the jail door was located.

"I'm over here," he's heard saying in the video as he shook his keys. "Come over here. Come over here. Listen to the noise and follow this noise, so I can get you out of here."

The officers use similar techniques for more than 15 minutes when the decision is made to use force.

A team of corrections officers is seen barreling inside Howard's jail cell, tackling him and throwing him to the ground on his head.

The only sound Howard utters is a cough afterward.

The Orange County Medical Examiner noted Howard suffered cardiac arrest one day after the use of force incident.

The report indicated he died one day after that.

The autopsy report showed Howard broke two of his vertebrae in his neck, his spinal cord was crushed and his brain was swollen.

The medical examiner ruled Howard's death was a homicide.

Officials with the Orange County Jail say a nurse was fired and two other nurses faced disciplinary action when they discovered they did not perform a medical evaluation on Howard after the use of force incident.

The Office of the State Attorney declined to prosecute any of the workers involved, saying there was no evidence a crime took place.

News 6 found out the Orange County Jail is still conducting its own internal investigation.

Howard's daughter spoke to News 6 by phone Thursday. She said the family has hired an attorney, and she wouldn't say if they planned to file a lawsuit.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.