Jury finds BSO deputy not guilty of filing false report

Deputy Ralph Mackey's attorney says client victim of political ploy

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A jury on Thursday found Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Ralph Mackey not guilty of filing a false police report in connection with the rough arrest of a teenager earlier this year.

Earlier in the day, a judge dismissed the other charge against Mackey -- conspiracy to falsify records -- after prosecutors were barred from using reports written by other deputies as evidence during the trial.

Mackey was one of three deputies charged after Delucca Rolle, who turned 16 Tuesday, was pepper-sprayed and thrown to the pavement April 18 outside a McDonald's in Tamarac, where a group of teenagers had gathered after school to watch a fight.

Deputy Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Gregory LaCerra are each charged with two counts of battery.

Prosecutors said Krickovich was the deputy seen on cellphone video slamming the teenager's head to the pavement and punching him in the head, while LaCerra doused the teen in the face with pepper spray.

Defense attorneys called several BSO deputies, including an internal affairs sergeant, as witnesses to refute claims that the allegations involving Rolle were exaggerated and the deputies' actions were minimized.

"Was there anything about that report, as an internal affairs investigator, that led you to believe you were deceived, obstructed in any way?" Sgt. Vincent Coldwell was asked.

"No, I wasn't," he said.

Another deputy also said he "didn't notice any inaccuracies" in the report. 

The defense pushed to convince the jury that Mackey, a 23-year veteran of the BSO, was the victim of a political ploy.

"This is the thanks for 23 years of service -- getting caught up in a social media frenzy for writing a report," attorney Robert Buschel said.

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