Broward County prosecutors to investigate rough arrest by deputies

Video of teen being slammed to ground has received national attention

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Broward County State Attorney's Office said Monday that prosecutors will investigate a black teenager's rough arrest last week by white deputies amid calls for the deputies to face criminal charges.

"This incident is under investigation by my office," Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz said in a statement. "Our prosecutors and investigators had already scheduled a meeting for Tuesday with the attorney for the 15-year-old student. The student's family has hired a new attorney and we are arranging a meeting with the new lawyer as soon they are available."

Delucca Rolle, 15, got into a struggle with Broward Sheriff's Office deputies Thursday outside a McDonald's in Tamarac. Bystanders recorded the incident with their mobile phones. The videos show Deputy Christopher Krickovich using pepper spray on Delucca and then later another deputy punching Delucca in the head several times and forcing his head into the pavement.

The incident has received national attention after celebrities, including basketball star LeBron James, have weighed in on social media, decrying the use force.

A small protest was held Monday afternoon outside the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. The organizers said the deputies involved should be fired and face criminal charges.

Also Monday, four South Florida lawmakers -- U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson -- urged Tony to take steps to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

“We are outraged by the appearance of unprofessional conduct of the two Broward County Sheriff's Office deputies last Thursday in Tamarac," the Democrats said in a statement. "Rather than deescalating the situation, the deputies appear to have dramatically overreacted with a disproportionate use of force."

The Broward Sheriff's Office said Krickovich has been assigned to administrative duties, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony has said he wants to wait until his office's investigation is complete before making any decisions.

"I am not going to sit and try to brush anything under the table," Tony said Saturday. "The facts are what they are. I just need them in a formal, written documentation that shows we've done our due diligence."

Krickovich said in the arrest report that he was surrounded by a large crowd of teenagers at the McDonald's. 

"I had to act quickly, fearing I would get struck or having a student potentially grab weapons off of my belt or vest," he wrote.

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