DeLAND, Fla. – A Volusia County deputy encountered an unusual scene on New Year’s Day when he found a 260-pound intoxicated man lying on top of his 77-year-old Uber driver -- both in the driver’s seat of a minivan, body camera video released by the Sheriff’s Office shows.
The deputy was flagged down at 12:43 p.m. by a driver on North Kepler Road who said there were two men were involved in a fight in a Honda minivan up the road.
When the deputy arrived, he found the driver’s side door open with two sets of legs sticking out toward the road. The deputy said he found Michael Garred, 48, face down on top of the 77-year-old Uber driver. Both the victim and suspect had bloody faces, according to the report.
“Help me. Help me, please. Get him off of me,” the driver can be heard saying in the deputy’s body camera video.
Warning: The video below contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.
The victim later told deputies he is an Uber driver and he was called to pick up Garred on North Kentucky Avenue in DeLand. After he turned onto North Kepler Road, Garred asked him to stop. When the driver pulled over, he said Garred reached up and ”sucker punched” him in the face, according to authorities. Garred then attempted to climb from the rear passenger seat toward the driver seat, according to the victim’s account.
A struggle ensued between the driver and Garred and both men punched each other, according to the arrest report.
When the deputy arrived, he pulled Garred off the victim. The deputy attempted to put Garred into the back of his patrol car, however, video of the encounter shows Garred slurring his words and resisting the deputy’s commands while repeatedly saying, “I am complying.”
“But why are you stopping me and why are you restraining me this way?” Garred says.
“Because you’re on top of some man. You’re both covered in blood,” the deputy replies.
“No, you will not tell me why,” Garred says.
“I just told you why,” the deputy says.
The deputy led the stumbling and slurring Garred to the patrol car and attempted to put him in the back of the car, but Garred refused to get into the cruiser.
“You’re under arrest by the way,” the deputy told Garred.
“For what?” Garred says.
Another deputy arrived and the two deputies attempted to shove the man into the car belly first. Garred said he was dying, closed his eyes and fell face-first into the backseat, according to the report.
The encounter left the deputy and his patrol car smeared with the suspect’s blood and snot.
The video ends with Garred sitting on the ground crying and yelling “the police is (sic) corrupt.”
According to the arrest report, Garred was taken to the hospital, where he also assaulted a nurse.
Garred is charged with battery on a person 65 years old or older, battery on law enforcement, criminal mischief, assault on a law enforcement officer and assault on a medical care provider.
Garred also earned the title of Sheriff Mike Chitwood’s first “Scumbag of the Week” for 2020.
“Our first Scumbag of the Week of 2020 is this nightmare New Year’s Day Uber rider who decided to sucker punch and attack his 77-year-old driver, who was just trying to do his job!” the sheriff said in a tweet. “Thankfully someone flagged down Deputy Barry to help.”