SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A man is suing the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office, claiming a deputy used excessive force during an arrest four years ago.
Michael Basile was picked up back in March of 2015 for public intoxication. While he was being booked into the jail, one of the deputies slammed him face-first onto the floor.
Surveillance video shows the moment it happened. You can see the deputy standing behind Basile suddenly throw him on the ground.
“Picked him up and body slammed him head first into the concrete, he was knocked unconscious, he was left on the jail for bleeding until he was subsequently given medical attention,” said Michael Barfield, Paralegal for Attorney Robert Waltrous.
Basile’s legal team tells us the bones in the 58-year-old’s left eye socket were shattered, and Basile needed multiple major surgeries.
“He still suffers significant injuries from the incident,” Barfield said.
Deputy Shaun Martin told Internal Affairs investigators Basile was being verbally abusive and threatening the officers. He claimed Basile kicked him, so he took him down.
“Law enforcement can arrest people for committing crimes, that doesn’t mean that you get abused when you go to jail,” said Barfield.
The internal affairs investigator determined Martin used excessive force and he was suspended for 36-hours without pay.
Basile’s legal team says the County offered their client a settlement of five-thousand-dollars.
“We think that it’s important to have Mr. Basile’s medical bills and his injuries compensated,” Barfield said.
Monday, they filed a lawsuit suing Martin and another deputy, as well as naming the Sarasota County Sheriff.
“This is a lawsuit that attempts to recover damages and medical bills, significant medical bills incurred by Mr. Basile for an excessive use of force at the jail,” said Barfield.
Both deputies still work at the sheriff’s office with the patrol bureau.
A department spokesperson says they can’t comment on pending litigation but are contesting the allegations in the suit.