Deputy Jorge Sobrino was filmed on a police body cam punching David Rafferty O’Connell, who was handcuffed to a hospital bed on New Years Day in Broward County, Florida, reports WPLG.
O’Connell was forcibly checked into Broward Health North for a wellness check after being arrested at a Walmart in Pompano Beach. O’Connell and a woman were arrested after they were suspected of trying to fraudulently return ink cartridges, notes WTVJ:
At one point, O’Connell has to urinate and kneels in the bed to use a urinal. The public defender’s office said O’Connell inadvertently spilled urine on himself and the bed and had to reposition himself to avoid the urine.
After that, O’Connell gets back on his knees and again says that he doesn’t want to stay in the hospital and starts cursing at Sobrino, the video shows. Sobrino then moves in, punches O’Connell, and handcuffs his other arm to the bed.
After he was beaten, O’Connell was charged with disorderly conduct, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence.
Sobrino’s police report contradicted the police body cam video:
While awaiting medical clearance, the defendant began yelling inside the hospital and attempting to stand from his hospital bed. When attempting to seat the defendant down on the hospital bed and further restrain him, the defendant intentionally placed his hand on my upper chest against my will and pushed me, there for [sic] committing a battery against my person.
Broward public defender Howard Finkelstein and executive chief assistant public defender Gordon Weekes said O’Connell didn’t push Sobrino in the chest:
Deputy Sobrino’s version of the incident vastly differs from the facts as displayed in the video. The video shows clear police abuse. Deputy Sobrino punched Mr. O’Connell in the face without physical provocation because he was frustrated with Mr. O’Connell. Punching a restrained individual who is not physically aggressive is unacceptable.
Get the latest breaking news video clips before everyone else with our newsletter! We do not share or sell your email address with anyone.