2 current, 2 former Boynton Beach police officers arrested in 2014 beating

Chief Jeffrey Katz says men turned themselves in Friday morning

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – Two former and two current Boynton Beach police officers have been arrested in connection with the 2014 beating of a man, Chief Jeffrey Katz said.

"We will not let this incident of several years ago define us," Katz told reporters Friday during a news conference.

The Boynton Beach police chief said officers Philip Antico and Michael Brown, along with former officers Ronald Ryan and Justin Harris, turned themselves in Friday morning after a thorough investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice. 

"Federal authorities have reported back that their extensive three-year investigation has led to the filing of a criminal complaint by the U.S. Attorney's Office for alleged improprieties by two of our current members, Philip Antico and Michael Brown, and two of our former employees, Ronald Ryan and Justin Harris," Katz said.  

According to an indictment, Brown, Harris and Ryan are charged with assaulting an arrestee and then filing false reports about the incident. Antico is charged with filing a false report and obstructing justice during the incident. 

File: Indictment of Boynton Beach police officers accused of beating arrestee

Katz said their arrests stem from the 2014 beating of Byron Harris while the officers were taking him into custody. The beating was captured on video by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office helicopter.

The video shows Harris on the ground surrounded by officers who are kicking him. 

An arrest photo from 2014 shows a battered and bruised Byron Harris.

Harris' mugshot showed him with a battered face and his eyes were nearly swollen shut.

Katz said that prior to Harris' arrest, he endangered the lives of officers and the community after he led Boynton Beach police on a chase along Interstate 95, even striking an officer in the process with his car, nearly killing him.

The chief said he hoped the findings would have been different.

"It's a kick in the gut to every member of this department when anybody acts out in a way that's incongruent with our values," he said.

The formal complaint has been sealed and should soon be made available to the public. The men are scheduled to make a court appearance later on Friday.

The officers who remain employed by the Boynton Beach Police Department have been placed on administrative leave.

If convicted, Antico, Brown and Ryan each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Harris faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.  

About the Authors:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.