$165,000 settlement reached in Volusia arrest that left suspect injured

Deputy was not justified in use of force during arrest, records show

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Volusia County Council members on Tuesday approved a $165,000 settlement for a man who broke his leg when a deputy used force on him during an arrest, records show.

The settlement stems from an arrest on Sept. 28, 2016, in Deltona. Officials from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said they were called to the Academy of Career Training because a man, later identified as Pablo Juarez, was threatening employees and behaving erratically.

Deputy Andrew Jenkins arrived on the scene and approached Juarez as he was standing at a bus stop near the building. Records show that Juarez was cursing at the deputy and that after Juarez shouted "(expletive) you," Jenkins used a leg sweep maneuver to get Juarez onto the ground.

The takedown left Juarez, 57, suffering from a fracture on his left knee that required surgery and rehabilitative care, according to county documents. 

Jenkins' use of force was initially justified based on the footage from his body-worn camera, which provided a partial view of the incident. A second review began on Nov. 14 when a witness provided video showing the takedown from a different vantage point.

[Warning: Video embedded below contains graphic language. Viewer discretion is advised.]

Although Jenkins claimed that Juarez was tensing, pushing and resisting, the witness video showed that Juarez was not actively resisting and he was handcuffed when Jenkins performed the leg sweep, according to the report.

Records show Juarez told officers that he suffers from bipolar disorder, which can cause aggressive outbursts. He was given a notice to appear on a charge of resisting without violence.

On March 28, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood received a copy of the internal affairs investigation and agreed that Jenkins' violated the department's use of force policy. Jenkins, 31, was terminated on April 2.

"We are not going to tolerate excessive force. It's just not going to be tolerated. You don't abuse somebody when they're handcuffed," Chitwood said.

Jenkins had been a deputy with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office since 2015. Last year, he received the medal of valor.

County council members passed a motion to pay Juarez $165,000 as part of a settlement to cover his medical expenses -- which totaled more than $100,000 before Medicare -- and lost wages.

Copyright 2018 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.