Sheriff's Office releases dash cam video surrounding "excessive force" allegations
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla.- A Fort Myers man says Collier County deputies used "excessive force" after a traffic stop back in October.
22-year-old Mateo Falconi says deputies went too far. They knocked him to the ground, punched him several times and used a taser on him. Falconi plans on filing a civil lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office.
On Monday, Falconi showed Fox 4 edited clips from the dash cam video. After requests to the Collier County Sheriff's Office for the full dash cam video, the department has released the video. So what does the entire video show? Fox is showing you the high-speed chase before Falconi's arrest.
Back in October around 9:30pm, a deputy spots Mateo Falconi on his motorcycle on Livingston Road. Reports say Falconi was going more than 65mph on a road where the speed limit is 45mph. Deputies tried to pull the 22-year-old over, but instead he took them on a wild ride.
Deputies say Falconi's motorcycle reached speed as high as 110mph and ran several red lights. At one point the deputy drives the wrong way on Immokalee Road just to catch up.
"He's flipping a u-turn. Actually, he's going into oncoming traffic," said a deputy in the dash cam video.
The chase lasted about 5 miles and stopped when Falconi reached a dead-end.
"Once you reach a point and surrender and you know you're going into custody, you expect to be treated with some type of dignity and don't expect to be jumped by 4 grown men," said Falconi.
Dash cam video shows Falconi stepped off his motorcycle as a deputy knocks him to the ground. Deputies then punched and tasered the motorcyclist.
"Did you have any weapons on you?" I asked.
"No, I was surrendering with my hands behind my back," said Falconi
The deputies involved used several vulgarities.
"Put your hands up (expletive). Get on the (expletive) ground. I'll (expletive) kill you," shouted a deputy on the dash cam video.
In the end, Falconi was arrested on several charges including fleeing an officer and possession of marijuana.
"What we got is over 20 grams, smell that you aren't going to be smelling that for awhile," said a deputy on the dash cam video.
"The Collier County Sheriff's Office says it will open a Professional Responsibility Bureau investigation to determine exactly what took place during the pursuit and arrest. Among questions that will be resolved are whether Mr. Falconi was resisting being handcuffed at the time of the alleged excessive response to resistance and whether deputies on scene were following agency and state response to resistance guidelines while taking Falconi into custody. In addition, other questions must be answered, including why was the vehicle traveling at speeds reaching 110mph and why was the driver attempting to elude deputies. Law enforcement officers are permitted to respond to resistance, whether it be verbal, passive, active or aggressive, for the safety of the public, the officer and the subject," said the Sheriff's Office in a statement.