BSO settles lawsuit with mentally ill woman dragged through courthouse by deputy

Dasyl Rios granted undisclosed amount of money

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Broward Sheriff's Office has settled a lawsuit filed by the attorney of a mentally ill woman who was dragged through the Broward County courthouse by a deputy.

Dasyl Rios, who authorities said was being disruptive and uncooperative in court on Feb. 23, 2015, pleaded with Deputy Christopher Smith to stop.

"You're hurting me. You're (expletive) hurting me," Rios is heard screaming in cellphone video taken of the incident.

"I gave you a chance," the deputy told Rios at one point.

"You gave nobody a chance," Rios screamed. "All I wanted to do was cry for a few minutes. Cry. That's all I wanted to do was cry for a few minutes because my life is in your hands."

Johnson dragged Rios down the hallway when she refused to leave the courtroom after a judge found her mentally incompetent to face misdemeanor drug charges.

"All I want is my mother to know why she can't see me when she comes to visit me," Rios said.  

The incident led to a federal lawsuit against BSO, and now, Rios' attorney, David Frankel, said he's settled that suit, with Rios to be paid an undisclosed amount of money by the Sheriff's Office.

"It's of no surprise that this is going to cost BSO some money," attorney Bill Gelin, who shot the video, said. "Everybody in the courthouse could hear this shrieking and screaming and crying. The fact that the video became national news was that it was so disturbing and so wrong. This was a mentally ill person being treated despicably."

Frankel said Rios continues to struggle with her mental health issues, but is receiving support from her family.

"This was absolutely something that nobody had ever seen before and (it) never should be seen again," Gelin said.

The deputy involved in the incident was investigated internally, and while no charges were filed against him, he was reprimanded for his conduct.

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