Bystanders jump in to help police officer being attacked in Daytona


DAYTONA BEACH, FL – A Volusia County deputy had the tables turned against him while trying to calm a man exhibiting erratic behavior at a traffic stop. As the officer attempted to handcuff the subject, he got violent and started attacking the deputy.

Two bystanders jumped into action to come to the aid of the deputy.

According to the VCSO, Deputy Zimmerer was eastbound on Howland Boulevard yesterday afternoon when a black Ford F-150 cut across all lanes of traffic and almost hit him. Zimmerer conducted a traffic stop on the driver, Frank Padilla Velez, 41, whose behavior was erratic.

When Zimmerer attempted to place handcuffs on him, Padilla hit Zimmerer in the head with his elbow, knocking the handcuffs into the middle of the road, and started fighting him.Two witnesses saw what was happening and jumped out of their vehicles to help. Padilla thrashed on the ground and tried to bite Zimmerer’s leg.

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A Taser had no effect on him. The struggle caused the deputy’s body camera’s main power button to switch off before more deputies got to the scene and helped take Padilla into custody. Padilla’s dog, which had jumped out of his truck to protect him, was corralled by one of the witnesses and placed safely back in the truck.

Padilla was charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, careless driving and expired registration.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced that both men who stopped to intervene will be receiving citizen’s awards in recognition of their actions.

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“All my respect and gratitude goes out to these two men who took action when they saw a deputy under attack. It makes me proud to know that in Volusia County, our residents still have our deputies’ backs,” Sheriff Chitwood said.