Collier County deputies cleared in excessive force investigation

Katie Jones

Collier County deputies cleared in excessive force investigation

CREATED Aug. 27, 2013

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A Collier County Sheriff's Corporal and deputy have been cleared of any wrong doing during a traffic stop in October. Deputies said then, 22-year-old Mateo Falconi took off when they tried to pull him over for speeding along Livingston Road. Dash cam video showed the deputies punching and tasering Falconi. The deputies are now off the hook and Falconi is nowhere to be found.

When FOX4 talked to Falconi back in February, he said the deputies went too far.

"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." Falconi said on February, 12th.

Falconi led deputies on a high speed chase, ran several stoplights before he pulled over. Collier County Sheriff's Captain Mark Baker said the deputies did what they thought was best for themselves, Falconi and the entire community.
" He knows who we are, we have no idea who he is or why he's made the decision to flee we have no way of knowing who he his or what his intentions are till after we take him into custody." CCSO Captain Mark Baker said.
An investigation from the State Attorney's office states Collier County Sheriff's deputies Robert Lewis and Robert Palmer did nothing wrong. Falconi failed to appear for a July 1st court date and according to the investigation, may have fled the country. Civil Rights Commissioner Victor Valdes didn't deny Falconi's wrong doing, but said he is a victim of police brutality because he surrendered to the deputies.
" If I make a mistake or violation of law, give me the ticket, put me in jail but we cannot accept the violence against the people." Valdes said.
Captain Baker said even though the dash cam video showed Falconi's hands in the air before deputies used forced, the damage had already been done.
"There was no surrender. Had he pulled over on the side when the deputy pulled him over that would be a surrender. He never surrendered till the end after he's led us on a high speed pursuit." Captain Baker said.
There is an active warrant out for Falconi's arrest. He's wanted for fleeing an officer, possession of marijuana and failing to appear in court.