Deputy Neil Pizzo of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Florida is on administrative leave after a video showed him beating a teenage inmate on September 2.
The altercation sent the teenager to the hospital. Pizzo is seen grabbing the 17-year-old Terrance Reed by the neck before taking him to the ground at the Sarasota County Juvenile Assessment Center.
According to NBC News and the police incident report, Pizzo said he asked Reed to remove his arms from his shirt several times, Reed is accused of not complying with the order.
The report states Reed said, “f*ck you. I’m cold. I’ll kill you cracker if we on the streets, I’ll blow your f*cking head off, you ain’t a real cop.” Pizzo then approached and Reed quickly jumped off the chair and quickly pulled his arms out of his shirt and said, “I’ll f*ck you up,” the incident report states.
Pizzo went on to write the following in the report:
“I saw the the look in his eyes and the stance that he immediately went into, the inmate had his fists clenched and it was eminent I was going to be attacked and struck.”
The video shows Pizzo immediately choking Reed and pinning the teen to the wall. It was then that Pizzo slammed Reed to the ground, punching him several times.
Pizzo said Reed refused commands to put his hands behind his back, so he struck Reed multiple times with open an hand “to avoid harming him.” Pizzo was then able to handcuff Reed.
Per the video Pizzo is now at the center of an active internal affairs investigation. Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight opened the investigation after reviewing surveillance videos in real-time, and slow motion.
Reed was in custody on a weapons charge.