Deputy Christopher Krickovich is under investigation after cellphone footage showed him body slamming and punching a bloody teenage boy during an arrest.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony announced the department’s decision to place Krickovich on “restrictive administrative assignment,” on Friday.
“This incident is being conducted under a thorough investigation, we will look at this as a fact-finding measure to ensure that we hold folks accountable,” Tony said. “We will be transparent, and if folks need to be held accountable, it shall be done.”
Official department documents state that Krickovich is required to return any department-issued weapons and is “prohibited from entering any sheriff’s office facility outside of his own,” without the permission of internal affairs.
Police reports state that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a local shopping plaza on Thursday in response to a large group of students fighting. The teens were allegedly asked to leave the area, and on the scene, one male student was arrested for trespassing.
According to NBC, video footage shows a young man in a red tank top approach the arrested student and then stand in front of one of the officers. The teenage boy is then shown getting pepper-sprayed, right before being pushed to the ground and punched in the head, by Krickovich.
NBC added that the names of the students have not been released because they are minors, but the hashtag #justiceforlucca born out of the incident has identified the black teen in the tank top as 15-year-old “Lucca.”
The arrest report continues and says that Krickovich saw ”Lucca” as an aggressor and that the teen reached for the cell phone of the arrested student. Krickovich added that he feared someone would reach for one of his weapons after deputies ensued in a scuffle with ”Lucca,” punching and pushing him to the ground.
“At this point, his left arm was free and next to him, while he placed his arm under his face,” Krickovich’ said. “I struck the male in the right side of his head with a closed fist as a distractionary technique to free his right hand.”
Mayor of Broward County, Mark Bogen released a statement in the wake of the growing attention of the incident. Bogen made it clear that the actions of the deputy were both “outrageous and unacceptable” in his call to action.
“After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away,” Bogen said. “If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground.”