Florida City, FL – A man who was pulled to safety by witnesses after he launched his minivan into the ocean was shot after disarming an officer of his Taser, recently released bodycam footage showed.
The incident occurred at approximately 12 p.m. on Mar. 29 on U.S. Highway 1, just south of Florida City at mile marker 114, the Florida Keys Keynoter reported.
According to a witness, the minivan driver, later identified as 29-year-old Jahmal Parker, ran into the back of another vehicle before his vehicle crashed headfirst into the water, the Sun Sentinel reported.
“He just rear-ended the s–t out of us,” the driver told one of the officers in the video.
Other motorists rushed to save Parker from the half-submerged vehicle. He appeared to be the lone occupant, police said.
Parker was uncooperative with a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer who tried to help him, so the officer requested backup from the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Bodycam footage from one of the Miami-Dade officers showed the officers as they tried to obtain information from Parker and led him to be evaluated by the medics.
One officer noted that Parker was acting somewhat “agitated,” and that he might have suffered a head injury in the crash.
“He’s getting a little froggy with them right now,” another officer cautioned as they returned to the area where medics were trying to assist Parker.
“He better not get froggy,” the officer wearing the bodycam responded.
Parker, who was bleeding, refused to allow the medics to examine him, and denied having any injuries.
“Listen – they’re going to check you out,” the officer told him sternly. “You’re bleeding. Let them look at you…I want to make sure you’re not hurt.”
Parker continued to resist the medics’ efforts, at which point the officer cautioned him that he would be placed in handcuffs if he did not comply.
When Parker refused to sit down, the officer and his partner moved closer towards him and continued their efforts to have Parker relax and be checked out.
“You’re bleeding,” the officer told him again.
“No, I’m not,” Parker replied.
The officer again commanded the defiant man to sit down, then briefly turned towards his partner with his Taser drawn.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Sit down, or you’re going to get lit up,” he said, returning his attention to Parker.
The second officer moved towards Parker and again asked him to sit, while the first officer kept his Taser aimed at the suspect.
Suddenly, Parker struck out with his left hand and snatched the second officer’s Taser from the holster on his belt, pointing it at him, the video showed.
The first officer immediately deployed his drawn Taser as Parker attempted to run around the side of the ambulance.
“He’s got a Taser!” the officer yelled, as the second officer rounded the ambulance with his duty weapon aimed at Parker.
“Drop it!” the officers repeatedly commanded before they opened fire, hitting Parker in the legs.
“Ah s–t!” Parker yelled over and over as he collapsed onto the roadway, grasping his legs.
The combative man continued to resist the officers as they placed him into handcuffs, and he eventually had to be secured to the stretcher so medics could assess his injuries.
“I didn’t know if he had your gun or your Taser,” the officer told his partner as they scrubbed the suspect’s blood off of their hands on the side of the highway.
Parker was transported to the hospital by air ambulance, where he was treated for his gunshot wounds, the Sun Sentinel reported.
He was then taken to jail on charges of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers and resisting arrest, and was being held on $75,000 bond.
According to Parker’s relatives, he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was not taking his medication at the time of the incident.
The officers involved in the shooting have been identified as 54-year-old Ronald Neubauer, who has served as an officer for 27 years, and 34-year-old Richard Bellon, who has served as an officer for eight years.
You can watch bodycam video of the incident below. The action starts at the 6 minute mark: