WINTER HAVEN (970 WFLA) -- A Winter Haven police officer has himself been taken to jail and faces felony battery charges, as well as the possible loss of his job, after an incident in which an arrestee's leg was broken as he was trying to put him in a holding cell.
Police Chief Charlie Bird says officer Brandon Boone lost his cool after a stream of verbal abuse from Ronald Augustin, 35, who was under arrest on a marijuana charge and a probation violation. Augustin started a torrent of curses at Boone as the officer turned around and took him back to the Winter Haven police station to assist with transporting another inmate. Augustin told Boone he hoped his kids died, called him a "punk-### cracker" and hurled vulgarities.
As Boone escorted Augustin to the holding cell, Bird says he held Augustin by the arm and kneed him in the buttocks. Augustin landed on the floor with Boone restraining him. A pop was heard and Augustin began screaming that his leg was broken. An outside investigation by the Polk Sheriff's Office and State Attorney concluded that Boone had committed felony battery. He's been jailed and suspended without pay pending the results of an internal investigation, which could be completed by the end of the week.
Chief Charlie Bird said Boone was provoked, but that's no excuse. "If we don't do what's right here... we're no better than the criminals," Boone said.
Photo and video credit: Winter Haven PD