Sheriff Mike Chitwood expressed his thanks Wednesday after two men stopped to help a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop in Deltona.
Deputy Zimmerer conducted a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon on Howland Boulevard after a black Ford F-150 crossed all lanes of traffic on Howland Boulevard and nearly collided with the deputy. Upon pulling over, the motorist, Frank Padilla Velez, 41, (DOB 5/17/1980, began behaving erratically, jumping out of his truck then lying down in the roadway.
Zimmerer talked to Padilla, trying to calm him down. When Padilla tried to leave the scene, Zimmerer attempted to place handcuffs on him. That’s when Padilla became combative, hitting the deputy in the head with his elbow, knocking the handcuffs into the road, and began fighting.
Fortunately, two witnesses saw the incident and stopped their vehicles to assist the deputy. Padilla violently resisted arrest, trying to bite Zimmerer’s leg and thrashing around on the roadway. The deputy then deployed his taser but it didn’t affect Padilla. During the struggle, Zimmerer’s body camera’s main power button shut off before additional deputies arrived and helped take Padilla into custody.
One witness retrieved Padilla’s dog, which leapt out of the truck to protect him during the scuffle. Padilla was arrested and charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license, careless driving and expired registration.
Zimmerer was not seriously injured.
Sheriff Chitwood praised the two men who stopped to help and said he plans to honor them with citizen’s awards. “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.”
– Laura Williams, Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations