Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) released bodycam video on Monday that showed a now-former officer repeatedly punching a DUI suspect in the head with a Taser (video below).
The incident occurred on March 29, 2020 when an intoxicated driver led officers on a chase and smashed into a patrol vehicle, WJXX reported.
When officers attempted to remove the suspect from the van he was driving, he resisted.
Newly-released bodycam video showed several officers crowded around the open driver’s side door trying to remove the suspect from the vehicle.
The man appeared to be actively resisting officers’ efforts to pull him out of the van.
“My leg is broke!” the man screamed in the bodycam video just one of the officers – later identified as then-32-year-old Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Matthew Alimurung – raised his arm in the air while holding a Taser.
Video showed that Officer Alimurung reached over two other officers and struck the driver in the head with his Taser at least eight times.
The suspect was pulled from the vehicle at that point, taken to the ground, and handcuffed, the video showed.
Bodycam video showed that after the driver had been handcuffed, Officer Alimurung walked up to him and spit in his direction, WJXX reported.
The suspect complained of head injuries and was transported to the hospital for evaluation before being booked into jail.
Court records showed he ultimately pleaded guilty to DUI with damage and battery on a law enforcement officer, WJXX reported.
When sheriff’s officials reviewed the incident, they found that Officer Alimurung had not accurately documented his use of force against the suspect.
JSO said that the use-of-force paperwork Officer Alimurung completed did not match what was clearly seen on the videos, according to WJXX.
Officer Alimurung, who had been a member of the sheriff’s department for five years, resigned from his job after the allegations were made.
JSO Undersheriff Pat Ivey announced criminal charges against the former sheriff’s officer on Nov. 13, 2020, WJXX reported.
Alimurung was charged with second-degree felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and public servant falsifying a document.
Undersheriff Ivey said when he announced the arrest that the former officer’s use of force during the incident violated agency protocols, WJXX reported.
“Alimurung used his Taser as an impact weapon to the suspect’s head and face region,” the undersheriff said.
The foundation of the case was formed by the bodycam videos and testimony of 19 other officers who were on the scene, WJXX reported.
“There were multiple people, as you will see when the BWC comes out, multiple officers engaged in this situation — this exact one,” Undersheriff Ivey said when the charges were announced. “And only one guy is being arrested for his behavior. So 90 percent getting it right in this incident. One guy’s not.”
Alimurung pleaded guilty to felony battery and filing a false law enforcement report, WJXX reported.
The judge withheld adjudication on the felony and gave the former officer a year of house arrest, one day in jail (time he had already served), and 50 hours of community service.
Alimurung was required to surrender his law enforcement certification as a condition of his plea deal, WJXX reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: