FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A misdemeanor battery charge was dropped Friday against one of two Florida deputies who appear in a video that showed a black teen being pepper-sprayed and slammed to the ground during an arrest last year.
A Broward County judge ruled that Sgt. Greg LaCerra, who pepper-prayed the teen, won’t face the charge because he was standing his ground, but former Deputy Christopher Krickovich, who jumped in and appeared to slam the teen’s head into the asphalt multiple times, will still face one misdemeanor count of battery, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Prosecutors plan to appeal the ruling, according to a State Attorney’s Office statement.
In April 2019, deputies responded to a large brawl involving roughly 200 students at a McDonald’s in Tamarac, which is northwest of Fort Lauderdale.
Cellphone video shows LaCerra pepper-spray then-15-year-old Delucca Rolle and throw him to the ground. Krickovich is seen jumping on the teen, twice slamming his forehead into the ground and punching him. A third deputy helps Krickovich pin the teen’s arms behind his back to be handcuffed as the video ends.
Krickovich previously said he feared the teen would try to run away or fight them and said they were outnumbered by the large group of students.
Rolle was charged with assaulting a police officer and obstruction without violence, but those charges were later dropped. Besides the charges against LaCerra and Krickovich, Deputy Ralph Mackey was charged with falsifying records but was later acquitted.
The Professional Standards Committee recommended no discipline for Krickovich, but Sheriff Gregory Tony disagreed and fired the deputy late last year.