Orlando police officer accused of kicking 13-year-old in chest

Officer Neal Chase fighting to clear his name

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando police officer hailed as a hero the night of the Pulse Nightclub shooting is now accused of kicking a 13-year-old boy during a violent takedown.

According to an Internal Affairs report, Officer Neal Chase was one of several officers who responded to Jackson Street in downtown Orlando last May after residents complained vehicles were being burglarized.

One of the suspects, a 13-year-old, was spotted at the corner of Eola Drive and Pine Street, and, according to the report, that's where Chase encountered him.

"Police K-9, stop running or I will release my dog, and you will get bit," Chase was reportedly heard saying on body worn cameras.

The report said the boy went down to his knees, and Chase told him to lie on the ground. 

"The male ignored his command and refused to lay down," the report stated.  "Officer Chase continued to approach the teen, who refused his lawful order and kicked him once in the chest with his left foot."

According to the report, Chase weighed 200 to 249 pounds, and the teenager weighed 130 pounds.

The teen fell onto his back, according to the report, and he was secured in handcuffs.

An ambulance was called after he started complaining of pain.

During the following internal investigation, Chase offered his side of what happened in the report:  

"My thought was to kick him... with the intent to make him fall back... to secure him... as easy as possible, as fast as possible in order to be able to continue.. attempting to search for the second suspect."

Despite that, the Orlando Police Department Office of Internal Affairs sustained allegations that Chase violated department procedures.

According to records, he was given a 16-hour suspension; his appeal was rejected.

The Fraternal Order of Police told News 6 the case is not over and Chase's case is headed to arbitration.

A representative for the police union said they want the department's expert on use of force to be able to review the body camera and determine if Chase did anything wrong.

The arbitration process will likely take about a year.

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