"It's not a crime to be disturbing or obnoxious. That's not criminal. There are no 'manners police,'" said Sarasota attorney Andrea Mogensen, representing 29-year-old Jason B. Dragash, of Sarasota Florida.
Unfortunately, no one told that to Officer Scott Patrick of the Sarasota police. Acting as a "manners policeman," the cop dealt out a vicious beating to the 29-year-old, all because he was allegedly acting boorish towards two women in a club.
The Herald Tribune reports:
According to his report, Patrick was flagged down around 3 a.m. by a woman outside the club, Alexandra Vitale, who told officers an intoxicated man inside was harassing her and her sister.If the police have nothing to hide, why won't they release the video of this beat down?
Vitale told the officers that she asked the man to leave her alone, and that she was afraid he would not stop the harassment.
Officer Patrick wrote he met Dragash outside the club, and warned him to leave Vitale alone or he would be arrested.
According to the report, Dragash said, "I don't give a (expletive) about these whores!"
Dragash continued to yell at Vitale and the police officers. Patrick grabbed Dragash's right arm and told him he was under arrest, which led to a fight.
"Officers attempted to gain control of the defendant's arms and both the defendant and the officer fell into tables that were next to him, knocking beer bottles onto the ground," the SPD report states.
The three men continued to struggle. Patrick noted in his report Dragash was in good shape and "extremely strong."
Dragash, who could not be reached by the Herald-Tribune for comment, graduated in 2001 from Sarasota High School, where he was called "Drago," and was both a weightlifter and an offensive lineman. The arrest report shows he is 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds.
Patrick wrote he then "punched the defendant in the right side of his face approximately 10 times in an attempt to gain compliance from the defendant."
After the punches, Patrick applied a choke hold, stating he "was able to secure the defendant's neck and placed the defendant into the Vascular Neck Restraint, gaining compliance."
Choke holds like the one Patrick used can result in death if improperly applied, and are considered deadly force at most police agencies. Administratively, it is treated the same as a firearms discharge.
Dragash's face was swollen and bruised when a mugshot was taken later that morning. His right eye was nearly swollen shut. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.
Dragash was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest.
This week, prosecutors dropped all charges.
Sarasota Police Capt. Paul Sutton said the incident is under investigation. Sutton declined to provide a copy of a video tape that shows the arrest and beating, which was shot from a security camera at the club.
Note, Dragash was not charged with simply "resisting arrest," but "obstruction without violence," a completely ridiculous "crime" which can be tacked onto anyone who doesn't provide the police with complete, immediate submission, in precisely the way the police wish them to comply.
Chris runs the website InformationLiberation.com, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.