A Manatee County corrections deputy has been fired following an investigation into an excessive force incident
Sheriff Rick Wells identified the former deputy as 21-year-old Tyler LeMond. The investigation into LeMond began after deputies say he was caught on camera hitting inmate Jorge Ajanel with several knee strikes, a punch and a foot stomp.
“There is no place for this type of behavior in law enforcement,” Sheriff Wells said in a statement. “It will not be tolerated at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.”
Sheriff Wells says the inmate did not file a complaint. But supervisors reviewed the video and launched an investigation about a week after it happened.
The incident happened on March 29 while the inmate was secured in a padded cell by himself.
According to the internal investigation report, Deputy LeMond was responding to a loud bang from the cell along with another deputy.
After ordering the inmate to get away from the door, video shows Deputy LeMond enter the cell and shove the inmate backward, causing him to fall onto his back. LeMond then tried to place the inmate in handcuffs while the other deputy tried to secure his legs.
“In the following 42 second struggle that ensued, Deputy LeMond struck [the inmate] with eight knee strikes, a closed fist punch and a foot stomp,” the sheriff’s office report states.
The report states Ajanel was in the medical pod of the jail because he was detoxing. He was arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge. Other deputies say he was not disruptive that day.
During the investigation, LeMond told investigators when he entered the room, “Ajanel grabbed onto my arm and attempted to pull me towards him.”
LeMond also added Ajanel was swinging his arms violently during the brawl. LeMon defended his actions saying, “From my point of view that was all necessary and justified.”
Investigators disagreed. The report stated, “the preponderance of the evidence indicates Deputy LeMond’s escalation of force was unwarranted and unreasonable.”
The sheriff’s office says it sent a capias request for battery to the State Attorney’s Office in April. The State Attorney will now decide whether criminal charges will be filed against LeMond.
LeMond was fired on April 24. He joined the sheriff’s office as a corrections deputy in March 2017.