Tampa protester claims he was beaten by jail deputies after arrest, HCSO investigating incident

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Tampa police arrested seven people Saturday night after paint was smeared across pavers in a sidewalk in Curtis Hixon Park.

Matthew Yampolsky, 35, is one of the seven and is now charging he was beaten by Hillsborough County Detention Deputies after his arrest.

Yampolsky says he was not one of the organizers of the event, but had gone to the park to voice his support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“They arrested one of the organizers. We were all questioning the officers as to why she was being detained. No answers were given to us, nor where they given to her,” said Yampolsky who soon found himself in handcuffs. ” I was clearly animated, but I was just asking why my friends were being detained,” said Yampolsky.

When he was taken to jail he says he noticed detention deputies were using a blood pressure cuff on people as part of the booking process.

Out of concern for the coronavirus, he says he nicely asked if the cuff could be sanitized of changed before it was used on him. Yampolsky says deputies quickly became irate at his request.

“I was immediately ripped from my chair, smashed against the window. Four or five other officers join in,” said Yampolsky. He says he was then taken into a holding cell and his head was jammed repeatedly into the floor.

“Knees in my back, knee on my neck. I could not breath, I was screaming for my life. It’s the only time in my life I actually feared for my life,” said Yampolsky.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says the incident is under a review and they will issue a statement when the review is complete.

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