West Palm Beach cop arrested more than 2 years after alleged rough arrest

(WPBF)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A West Palm Beach police officer turned himself in to authorities Tuesday, more than two years after a man was left bloodied and with a broken nose following his arrest.

Officer Nicholas Salavatore Lordi, 34, is charged with aggravated battery, causing bodily harm or disability.

The incident in question occurred between Lordi and John Monroque, who is in his 60s, on Nov. 1, 2019.

Monroque spoke to Local 10 News last May about the incident.

According to Monroque, he went to a food market that he has been going to for years to get some cigarettes for a friend and was stunned when one of the owner’s sons called the police.

Monroque described the moment two West Palm Beach police officers arrived.

(Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)

“When the police walked in, he told the police, ‘I don’t even know,’” and I said, ‘What did I do?’” Monroque said.

Two officers responded. They asked him for his ID, and while they were running it, Monroque and an officer were left alone.

He said he eventually went up to the officer to ask for his ID back.

“I go, ‘How long are you going to keep my ID for?’” he recalls.

That’s when the rough arrest allegedly occurred.

“He got behind me and jumped on my back, punched me in my face, and then slammed me on top of the car,” Monroque said.

In police body camera video, Monroque’s back is turned away from the officer. Monroque said not only was he not resisting, but he didn’t even see the officer coming.

However, in the police report, the officer stated that Monroque was yelling profanities at a pedestrian, and that is when the officer grabbed him from behind and put him on a patrol car to arrest him.

But according to Monroque, he was just speaking to a good friend he knew.

Despite this, the police report stated that Monroque was not cooperating, was resisting commands, and even went to reach for an officer’s gun holster, magazine and Taser.

West Palm Beach police said that while he was bleeding on the ground and punched in the head multiple times, the arrest was warranted, as he continued to yell obscenities at the officers and even spit blood at them.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the incident and determined that Lordi used excessive force during the arrest, including by placing his knee on Monroque’s head while he was already handcuffed and on the ground.

“A use of force investigation was initiated by the West Palm Beach Police Department immediately following the November 1, 2019 incident,” the West Palm Beach Police Department said in a statement. “The investigation was based on the evidence available at that time. When additional evidence was discovered, the West Palm Beach Police Department requested an outside investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The West Palm Beach Police Department is committed to accountability and transparency for the citizens we are sworn to serve. Nicholas Lordi was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the court case, pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement.”


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.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.