Jury finds BSO deputy not guilty of battery

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A jury found a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy not guilty of battery on Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

Video shows Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jorge Sobrino punching David O’Connell on Jan. 2, 2019, in Broward Health North.

O’Connell was handcuffed to a hospital bed.

“He lifts his left arm up. He places it on my upper torso and he begins to push against me,” Sobrino said during his testimony Thursday adding, “In my perception, he was again becoming aggressive and violent. I delivered one strike to him in order to defeat his resistance and that one strike was successful.”

Video captured Sobrino punching David O’Connell on Jan. 2, 2019, while at Broward Health North.

O’Connell testified on Wednesday. He said he met Sobrino when he was arrested at a Walmart in Pompano Beach. Witnesses accused him of trying to get into a fight with a Walmart employee.

O’Connell said he was afraid of Sobrino and raised his arm to keep him from striking him again.

“I was defending myself,” O’Connell said.

The video shows O’Connell taunting Sobrino. He shouted expletives and said, “What? You’re going to beat my a** again?”

BSO has employed Sobrino since Jan. 12, 2015. They opened up an internal investigation once the video came to light.

If convicted, Sobrino faces a maximum punishment of a year in jail.

This is a developing story.

About the Authors:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.