Deputy Zimmerer with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office stopped a black Ford F-150 after the vehicle cut across all lanes of traffic and almost struck him, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office shared deputy bodycam footage of what followed during the stop.
The driver, 41-year-old Frank Padilla Velez, began acting erratically when Zimmerer tried to speak with him, according to the sheriff’s office. As the deputy tries to handcuff him, Padilla hits him in the head with his elbow as a struggle ensues.
Two citizens saw the fight unfolding and jumped out of their vehicles to help the deputy apprehend Padilla, the sheriff’s office said.
During the struggle, Zimmerer’s body cam cuts out but the sheriff’s office said that Padilla thrashed on the ground and tried to bite Zimmerer’s leg. A Taser was deployed but had no effect on Padilla.
Bodycam footage from deputies who arrived on the scene shortly after the altercation began showed Padilla restrained on the ground. One of the citizens who aided the deputy had a bloody cut on his forehead.
“You hit me, buddy. You hit me,” the citizen can be heard telling Padilla.
One of the citizens also corralled Padilla’s dog, which jumped out of his truck to protect him, and placed it safely back in the truck, the sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced that both men who stopped to help Zimmerer will receive citizen’s awards in recognition of their actions.
“All my respect and gratitude goes out to these two men who took action when they saw a deputy under attack,” Chitwood said in a statement. “It makes me proud to know that in Volusia County, our residents still have our deputies’ backs.”
Padilla was charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, careless driving, and expired registration.