Palm Coast, FL – Flagler County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Gaddie was in a struggle with a suspect that he was trying to handcuff when two Good Samaritans stopped to help.
The incident occurred on Tuesday morning, October 3, during a traffic stop along Old Kings Road North near Frontier Drive, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
During the traffic stop, Deputy Gaddie ordered the driver, Morgan Byrnes, age 27, out of his vehicle after he smelled marijuana.
Deputy Gaddie attempted to remove a pocketknife from Byrnes’ pocket, but Byrnes wouldn’t let him.
In his arrest report, Deputy Gaddie noted that Byrnes refused to follow orders to put his hands behind his back 12 times.
Bodycam video shows Byrnes denying that he had drugs in his car, and demanding a K9 respond to search his vehicle. Of course, a K9 isn’t needed when the officer can smell the drugs.
In the video, Byrnes cited his understanding of the law, which was incorrect. The deputy tried to explain to Byrnes that he already had probable cause, but Byrnes wouldn’t listen.
Byrnes told Deputy Gaddie “I am resisting arrest for an illegal search and seizure. You are illegally searching and seizing me; I do not have anything in my car. Let me go! I didn’t do anything.”
Two men who were driving by the traffic stop on Old Kings Road saw Deputy Gaddie struggling with Byrnes, and stopped to help.
One of the Good Samaritans, later identified as firefighter Leonardo Chumaceiro, was driving from his assigned fire station on Old Kings Road. He made a U-turn, and drove back to help.
He said, “The deputy had him kind of under control, he was trying to put the cuffs on, and he (Byrnes) was just jumping and screaming and stuff. I just grabbed one arm and pinned him down to the trunk of his car and the other guy did the same thing. And the deputy, at that time, he was able to cuff him.”
Chumaceiro said, “In my mind, I think most people that could would’ve done that. Being in the fire service, I’m working alongside the deputies. Those guys always help me; they help me do CPRs. So there’s no difference. We have to take care of each other.”
Deputy Gaddie searched Byrnes’ car after he was handcuffed and taken into custody, and found a plastic baggie containing about five grams of marijuana in a center console.
When he found the marijuana, Deputy Gaddie said “I knew it.” He turned back to Byrnes and said, “All that for a little weed?”
Byrnes was charged with resisting arrest with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, and possession of marijuana. He was booked into jail Tuesday and released on bail later Tuesday afternoon.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly thanked both men for their help.
You can see the video of the incident below: