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Mulberry Man Facing Multiple Charges After Assaulting PCSO Deputy Who Stopped Him For DUI

Mulberry, Florida – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged a Mulberry man with drunken driving, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence & depriving an officer means of communicating after he was found passed out in the drivers seat of a running vehicle.

On February 4th, 2019, a Polk County Deputy responded to 3845 Hwy 60 W. Mulberry, Florida 33860 (Willow Oak Mobile Home Park) in reference to a suspicious incident. A reportee advised a vehicle was outside of her mobile home. The deputy arrived on scene at approximately 12:36am. I observed a vehicle facing South towards S.R. 60 W. in the middle of an access road for the mobile home park with its headlights on and the vehicle still running. The deputy reportedly observed what appeared to be a Hispanic male slouched over the steering wheel of the car and unconscious. In addition, the deputy also observed unopened cans of beer in the passenger seat and an open bear in the lap of the suspect. The suspect was later identified as Isaias Zeferino, DOB: 9/16/1999. Below is an excerpt from the arrest affidavit of what occurred next:

“I tapped on the driver’s side window of the vehicle in an effort to wake up the unconscious individual. The subject was unresponsive to these efforts. I observed the gearshift to be in park, therefore I felt it was safe to open the driver’s side door due to the vehicle being unlocked and conduct a well-being check on the unresponsive subject. As I opened the door, the subject remained unresponsive and I detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle.I also observed an open beer can in the subject’s lap. I began to push on the subjects shoulder saying “Wake up! Sheriffs Office Chief!”. The subject then slowly sat up and made eye contact with me. The subject motioned his right hand for the gear shifter slowly at which point in time I grabbed the subject’s left wrist to escort him out of the car. As I did this, the subject used his right hand and delivered a closed handed punch to the right side of my jaw.

While still inside the vehicle, myself and the subject were exchanging punches with each other. I was delivering several closed hand strikes to the subjects face and chest area while still trying to forcibly remove him from the car. As I did this, I requested on the radio for more back up units to respond to the scene to assist.
I continued to engage in a physical altercation with the suspect inside the car attempting to remove him from the
car. During the altercation I was yelling “Sheriffs Office! Get out of the car and stop fighting!” The subject continued to deliver closed hand strikes to my chest and left shoulder.

I was eventually able to remove the subject from the vehicle. As I removed him, the subject landed on his feet still grasping my left arm and attempting to punch me with his right hand. During this, the subject grabbed my handheld radio mic and ripped it off my uniform shirt depriving me of the use of my radio. The subject and I continued fighting as I yelled “On the ground! Now!” and the subject responded “NO! NO!”

I was able to force the subject against a mobile home trailer as we continued to engage each other. As I forced the subject against the mobile home, he continued to throw closed hand strikes towards my body preventing me from placing him into custody. While the subject was doing so, I was returning strikes to the suspect’s right and left side in an effort to gain compliance from the subject and also protect myself from harm.

As I continued to attempt to pin the subject against the mobile home trailer the subject delivered a strike to my face knocking my prescription glasses off of my face, which prevented my ability to see clearly. I then delivered a closed hand strike to the side of the suspect’s face causing him to tumble over a stump to our left. As the suspect fell, he grabbed me in a bear hug and took me down with him. I rolled onto my back as the suspect rolled to his feet. As I was beginning to stand up, the suspect began to rush towards me with his fists clinched. I drew my agency issued Taser and fired it at the subject. I observed the Taser make contact however, it had no effect to the subject and he continued rushing towards me with his fists still clinched screaming “N000000!”. The subject attempted to tackle me however, I was able to overpower him and place him on his back.

The subject then attempted to roll over and crawl out from under me. At this time, I began to deliver closed hand strikes to the subject’s side yelling “Hands behind your back! Stop resisting!’ The subject continued to resist by attempting to push me off of him and crawl away. I quickly retrieved my handcuffs from my handcuff pouch and placed the subject’s right wrist in a handcuff. I attempted to grab the subject’s left wrist however, he concealed it from me under his body. I then began trying to gain control of the subjects left arm while keeping him pinned to the ground.”

At this time, a second deputy arrived on scene and immediately began assisting me in my efforts to place the subject into custody. The suspect was placed into custody and transported to the Polk County Jail. He was released on $3,500 in bail. He has a court appearance on March 4, 2019.

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Staff Reporter

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