Deputy arrested, charged in road rage incident
PLANTATION, Fla. (WSVN) -- A veteran deputy is facing a slew of charges after he was caught on camera during what appears to be a road rage incident.
Broward County deputy Paul Pletcher, 37, angrily pulled over a female immigrant who was driving near the intersection of Broward Boulevard and State Road 7, on May 23 of last year.
Cell phone video showed Pletcher as he tried to take away a cell phone that was recording him as he pulled over the vehicle. "Give me the phone. Now! Give me the phone! Give me the phone!" Pletcher shouted. "The phone. Now! Give me the phone now! Give me the phone!"
The driver, Neyda Osorio, is heard in the video, saying, "Don't touch me!"
Osorio claimed the officer flipped her his index finger and told her to return to Cuba. "He yelled at her a bunch of ripe things, inviting her to return where she came from, things like that," said the victim's attorney, Edward McGee, Jr. "[He said] something that was ethnically a slur, that she should go back home where she belongs to, and I think he said it was Cuba or something along those lines."
The victim said Pletcher also stole her cell phone. "[The officer], according to Nada, puts his right elbow in her throat, grabs her right arm at the wrist, reaches into the phone with his left hand, pulls it out," said McGee.
Osorio said Pletcher never told her why he was angry, and she now fears all police officers. McGee said, "This just helps us to see how the police really act when they don't think they're on camera. [The officer is acting] out of control. If he was a civilian, it'd be a felony road rage."
Jamie Finizio-Bascomb, another attorney for the victim, said, "[Osorio] was very, very fearful of the very people within whom she's supposed to have confidence and trust in. Every time she sees a police car, [she is] concerned with what might happen, afraid of retribution."
Plantation Police responded to the scene of the incident and conducted an investigation. Authorities found the scattered pieces of the cell phone that was taken and Pletcher was arrested.
The veteran deputy has been charged with burglary of a conveyance, battery, criminal mischief and petty theft.
The sheriff has suspended Pletcher without pay.
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