On Dec 29th, St. Johns County Deputies, along with FHP responded to a traffic call. Officers say the man in question, Christopher Butler, was driving slow (some reports 15mph) and swerving on I-95.
They pulled off in a Winn-Dixie parking lot off of 2:10 just after 1:00am. Reports say the man was uncooperative with officers' requests for him to step out of the car.
The newly released bystander video shows Butler already on the ground, and being tasered numerous times. While we do not directly see an officer hitting Butler with the baton, as the camera cuts away, you will notice the shadow of an officer against the chainlink fence, which appears to show him striking Butler at least 3 times. Once the camera pans back, you see the officer holstering his baton.
Butler was charged with fleeing authorities, reckless driving, DUI, two charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and two charges of resisting an officer with violence. He also had two out-of-county warrants. He remains in jail without bond.
Three St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Anthony DeLeo, Patrick Ponticello and Joseph McGinnis, were suspended from duties after the incident.