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Haines City Police To Hold Press Conference Regarding Arrest Of Suspect Caught On Video

Haines City Police Department Press Release

HAINES CITY-The Haines City Police Department has been made aware of some videos that have surfaced on social media that depict portions of an incident where law enforcement attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle. The driver knowingly had a suspended driver license and tried to get away from the officer and was subsequently arrested. The driver was in possession of a visible firearm that was later determined to be possessed legally. Portions of the video show the interactions between the suspect and the lone arresting officer on scene. During some of these video interactions, the lone officer is seen utilizing protective actions directed at the suspect as he is trying to take him into custody, and secure the firearm in the driver’s possession. Neither the officer, nor the suspect were injured during the arrest.

 

Preliminary review of the documents, statements and video reveal the following:

 

On March 22nd at 11:06 A.M., Officer Justin Vasquez attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a silver vehicle due to a traffic violation of unlawful window tint near the intersection of 16th Street E and Melbourne Avenue. The vehicle driver saw officer Vasquez turn behind him and knowing he was driving on a suspended license, the driver, Miranda Brundidge III, pulled into a business hastily exits the vehicle, runs a short distance and continues to walk away from the vehicle.  Officer Vasquez exited his patrol vehicle and pursued him on foot. Officer Vasquez could clearly see the handle of a firearm sticking out of Brundidge’s right front pants pocket. 

 

Officer Vasquez gave loud verbal directives directed at the driver to “get on the ground.”  He continued to say this over ten times and the suspect still refused to comply. Officer Vasquez was able to take one of the suspect’s hands and tried to get the suspect’s second hand to secure him with handcuffs.  However, the suspect continued to resist, Officer Vasquez was alone, the suspect still had a readily accessible firearm and was continuing to resist so Officer Vasquez executed a take down to attempt to gain compliance, and forced the suspect to the ground.  

 

Brundidge still refused to comply to verbal directives, and would not place his second hand behind his back.  Officer Vasquez’s primary objective was focusing all of his efforts to prevent an escalation to deadly force.  Once on the ground, Brundidge had his right arm under his body, he still refused to present the arm and hand, and the firearm was in his right front pocket.  Officer Vasquez then struck Brundidge’s upper body in an attempt to gain compliance.  These actions worked, and he was able to handcuff Brundidge behind his back. 

 

Because Officer Vasquez was able to handcuff him, Officer Vasquez immediately took the suspect off the ground and escorted him to his patrol vehicle.  As Officer Vasquez walked Brundidge to his car, Brundidge continued to resist Officer Vasquez by not only tensing his arms and pulling away, but also tensing and pushing away with his legs as they walked.  Since Officer Vasquez was alone until he got Brundidge back to his car, he was unable to remove the firearm from his front pocket until back up arrived.  As such, he had to keep Brundidge in a transporter position with is arms away from his body. 

 

When Officer Vasquez arrived at his vehicle, his intent was to hold him against the vehicle till back-up arrived and he could safely disarm the suspect.  However, the suspect continued resisting and pushed back against the Officer so, Officer Vasquez countered the resistive efforts by aggressively directing the suspect onto the hood of his car which would allow him to maintain control of the still armed suspect, with less effort. 

 

During the time frame that took place at the patrol car, a citizen, who was videotaping the incident, can be clearly heard admonishing the suspect repeatedly to “just chill.”  

 

Brundidge was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license and resisting an officer.  He was also issued two citations for illegal window tint, the reason Officer Vasquez attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Brundidge’s vehicle. Brundidge’s license was suspended for failure to pay court costs. 

 

Brundidge made no admissions to driving the vehicle, in fact he adamantly denied driving the vehicle, despite video to the contrary.  His past history consists of traffic violations to include a previous charge of knowingly driving on a suspended driver license.

 

As with any case involving the use of protective action by a Haines City Police Officer, this incident will be investigated and reviewed to determine if it complies with Florida State Statute and Agency Policies. In addition, although a formal complaint has not been received, the Chief and City Administration have directed that a full administrative investigation will be conducted, and the results will reviewed by the State Attorney’s office.

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Haines City Press Release

Haines City Police investigating Traffic Stop Involving A Suspect Driving on Suspended License Since October

 

HAINES CITY-Haines City Police Department has been made aware of some videos that have surfaced on social media that depict portions of an incident where law enforcement attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle.  The driver knowingly had a suspended driver license and tried to get away from the officer and was subsequently arrested.  The driver was in possession of a visible firearm that was later determined to be possessed legally.  Portions of the video show the interactions between the suspect and the lone arresting officer on scene.  During some of these video interactions, the lone officer is seen utilizing protective actions directed at the suspect as he is trying to take him into custody, and secure the firearm in the driver’s possession.  Neither the officer, nor the suspect were injured during the arrest.

 

Chief Greg Goreck will address the media about this incident at 2:00 PM today.

author avatar
Carl Fish

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