Volusia sheriff thanks men who helped deputy during traffic stop attack

‘All my respect and gratitude goes out to these 2 men,’ Sheriff Chitwood says

DELTONA, Fla. – Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood is thanking two men who he says jumped out of their cars to help a deputy who was being attacked during a traffic stop Tuesday.

According to the sheriff’s office, a deputy was traveling eastbound on Howland Boulevard in Deltona when a black Ford F-150 cut across all lanes of traffic and almost hit the deputy’s cruiser.

The deputy conducted a traffic stop on the truck. Body camera video from the deputy shows the driver, Frank Padilla Velez, got out of his truck and immediately laid down in the road.

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“What are you doing?” the deputy asked repeatedly.

Padilla Velez’s response cannot be heard clearly on the recording.

The man gets back to his feet and the deputy orders him to come closer. The sheriff’s office describes Padilla Velez’s behavior as erratic.

The deputy can be heard asking the 41-year-old questions.

“Calm down. What is going on?”

Eventually, the deputy asks Padilla Velez to put his hands behind him and attempts to place the man in handcuffs.

“Don’t do that,” Padilla Velez says as the pair begins to struggle. The body camera video then cuts out. According to the sheriff’s office, the fight caused the main power switch on the camera to turn off.

Records show the pair struggled and Padilla Velez tried to bite the deputy’s leg. The sheriff’s office said a Taser had no effect on Padilla Velez.

Body camera video from another deputy picks up the scene as two men try to help the deputy who stopped Padilla Velez. One man can be seen wrangling a dog, which deputies said was in Padilla Velez’s truck, while another helps to subdue Padilla Velez.

“All my respect and gratitude goes out to these two men who took action when they saw a deputy under attack. It makes me proud to know that in Volusia County, our residents still have our deputies’ backs,” Chitwood said in a statement online.

The sheriff’s office said both men who stepped in to help will also receive citizen’s awards in recognition of their actions.

Padilla Velez faces charges of resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, careless driving and driving with an expired registration.

See the body camera video provided by the sheriff’s office below:

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.