Two Men Helped Deputy Being Attacked During Florida Traffic Stop, Video Shows

May 20, 2021 Updated: May 20, 2021

Two Good Samaritans in Florida jumped out of their vehicles to help a sheriff’s deputy who was being attacked by a suspect during a traffic stop on May 18, a local sheriff says.

Deputy Anthony Zimmerer stopped a black Ford F-150 after the vehicle cut across several lanes and nearly struck his vehicle, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The vehicle’s driver, identified as Frank Padilla Velez, 41, began acting erratically when the deputy tried to speak with him, according to the deputy’s body camera footage.

Velez then started shouting and ranting incomprehensively, the video shows.

When Zimmerer attempted to handcuff Padilla Velez, the suspect struck the deputy in the head with his elbow and a struggle ensued, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two people saw the melee unfold and jumped out of their vehicles to assist the deputy, according to the office.

The footage released by the sheriff’s office cuts off at one point and shows deputies arriving shortly after the altercation started, showing Padilla Velez restrained on the ground. One of the men who came to the deputy’s aid is seen with a gash on his forehead.

The sheriff’s office said that during the struggle, Zimmerer’s body camera stopped working, and Padilla Velez tried to bite the deputy. Zimmerer then used a Taser, which had no effect, the statement says.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that the two individuals who helped subdue Padilla Velez will receive citizen’s awards.

“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.”