Pinellas sheriff to give details into 'use of force' investigation centered around man's death

In August, a 31-year-old man died after Pinellas County deputies used a stun gun on him, prompting an internal investigation in the department. Over two months later, the Pinellas County sheriff will announce those results.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is scheduled to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss the State Attorney’s Office’s findings following the events on August 18 that led to the death of Baudilio Morales-Velasquez.

That night, around 10:14 p.m., 25-year-old Baudillo Mendez Vasquez called 911 saying he needed police. Detectives said he was intoxicated.

At the time, officials said the 911 operators were having a difficult time obtaining information from him and there was a language barrier. As deputies were heading to the residence – located at 24479 U.S. Highway 19 in Lot #825 – they were notified that an unidentified person battered Vasquez and fled on a bicycle.

Deputies stopped a man who fitted the description, later identified as Morales-Velasquez. They said he was cooperating, at first, but then tried to run away. They deployed a stun gun to stop him.

Deputies said Morales-Velasquez was trying to resist arrest and was handcuffed before he lost consciousness. He was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg Hospital where he remained in critical condition for days.

By August 30, by around 1:46 p.m., Morales-Velasquez passed away at the hospital.