WATCH: Florida Deputy Charged With Battery After Punching Handcuffed Suspect

March 30 2016

Florida – A Seminole County Sheriff’s deputy resigned before being charged with battery after he allegedly punched a handcuffed suspect, officials said.

The deputy, Michael O’Connor, resigned March 24 after he was caught on video threatening to kill a domestic violence suspect and then punching him in the face while he was in the back of a police cruiser.

Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger called O’Connor’s actions “egregious.”

“This is not who we are,” Eslinger said.

The Jan. 12 incident in unincorporated Winter Springs was captured on dash cam video.

Deputies were called to the home in the 1200 block of Phillip Street after a physical altercation between Jonathan Lynch and his mother.

According to police records, his mother was bleeding from the mouth when deputies arrived.

Lynch, 25, was handcuffed and put into the back of the cruiser.

He then began cursing at deputies and kicking the door because he wanted water, the video showed.

According to the video, O’Connor then whispered to Lynch, “I’m gonna [expletive] kill you right now,” and then leans in and punches him in the face.

Lynch was not injured during the incident and did not file a complaint. He only mentioned the incident during his arraignment a few days later, Eslinger said.

The sheriff’s office found out about the incident March 18 after the state attorney’s office reviewed the video to determine if it would press charges against Lynch.

O’Connor, who was hired in 2013 and is a retired Naval officer, was suspended and resigned before the internal investigation could be completed, Eslinger said.

The former deputy’s actions should not be condoned despite Lynch’s “belligerent and hostile” behavior, Eslinger said.

“Deputy O’Connor not only violated the law, he violated our policies and procedures,” Eslinger said. “His actions are contrary to the values in our organizational culture.”

Lynch, who could not be reached for comment, told deputies he initially did not want to file charges against O’Connor because he did not want the deputy to lose his job but later changed his mind in an interview with deputies last week.

This is the second time O’Connor was investigated by the sheriff’s office.

O’Connor was suspended for 30 days without pay in August for being verbally abusive toward a domestic violence victim, according to Eslinger.

Lynch is on probation for assault on a law enforcement officer, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

He also has been arrested on drug and aggravated assault charges, records show.

The state attorney’s office decided not to charge Lynch in the incident with his mother.