The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is opening an investigation after a video surfaced purportedly showing a deputy kicking a handcuffed suspect who was on the ground.
WFTV 9 reports that the suspect, Sammy Mike, was driving away from a deputy who was trying to pull him over for alleged auto theft and cocaine possession. According to a Sheriff’s report, Mike lost control of the car, hit another vehicle and tried to escape. Mike stopped trying to run when Deputy Richard Nye demanded he do so, and told the officer, “OK, I’ll get down.”
Cellphone video from a passerby shows another officer pointing something at Mike, who is in handcuffs and facedown on the ground. After the officer leaves, Nye appears to look behind himself and then kicks Mike, according to the station.
Mike, who is still in the Orange County jail, was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, cocaine possession, resisting an officer without violence and reckless driving.
Nye is one of three officers under a separate internal investigation for excessive force in the July arrests of two Valencia students, Deidra Reid and Reginald Lane Jr., which were also recorded. During an argument involving a deputy’s son at an apartment complex, Reid said Nye put her on the ground, sat on her back and twisted her shoulder out of place. Lane said that during his arrest, another officer kneed him in the groin and Nye slammed him into a car. The viral videos also showed Nye holding a “less lethal shotgun.”
A spokesperson for OCSO was contacted for more information, but could not be reached for comment.