Students claim excessive force in OCSO Retreat arrest
After a video capturing an arrest at The Retreat apartments near UCF went viral, social media was abuzz accusing Orange County officers of excessive force.
Deidra Reid, 21, and Reginald Lane Jr., 20 — neither of whom are UCF students — were arrested Monday afternoon at The Retreat on Colonial Drive after an altercation with off-duty officer Brett Parnell. A 15-second video shows Parnell forcing Reid to the ground with her hands behind her back while she screams for help.
Students took to Twitter with the hashtag #JusticeForDeidra in support of Reid. Friends tell the Central Florida Future Reid is not able to comment at this time and is being represented by her lawyer.
Witness Huguens Gustave said it all started after Reid yelled at Parnell’s son, who wouldn’t open the complex's computer lab door for her. Reid is not a resident of The Retreat, and therefore did not have the required key fob to get inside. Gustave said she was meeting a friend who is a resident, however, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit states she told Parnell she was not with a resident.
Gustave said he saw Reid sit next to her friend in the lab after getting inside. Other witnesses told Parnell they saw Reid banging on the computer lab door. Witness Jacqueline Fernandez said she heard Reid yell at the boy, “Don’t you know that you are supposed to respect your elders? … Who raised you?” according to the report.
After the boy ran to his father in tears, Parnell retrieved his badge from his car, went to the clubhouse and told Reid she needed to leave. When she repeatedly refused, he went to his car again to call in another courtesy officer, Richard Nye.
"The girl told him that he needs to teach his son some manners, and that's when they started arguing back and forth," Gustave said.
Gustave said the off-duty officer asked for Reid for her ID, but she refused. She then told him her ID was in her car outside, according to the report. But when she tried to leave to retrieve it, Parnell blocked her path.
After a heated exchange, Gustave said the officer stormed off repeating, "You're going to jail tonight."
Parnell said Reid kept telling him not to touch her, though he said in the report he had yet to do so. She was accompanied by several black men and women, who began videotaping the incident while Parnell waited for Nye to arrive. When Nye got to the scene, Parnell claims Reid took a fighting stance.
“She bladed herself and closed her fist as if she was going to strike us,” he said in the report.
Nye told Reid to put her hands behind her back, and when she refused, he grabbed her left wrist and tried to put her arm behind her back but she began to pull away and twist.
In the report, Nye said while he was directing Reid to the ground, she struck him in the face. Gustave said he saw deputies arrest Reid after she elbowed an officer while being handcuffed.
Olivia Ferguson, witness and friend of Reid, said Reid was pushed to the ground with excessive force that appeared to dislocate her shoulder.
"You can see her arm about to pop out of place. She was screaming 'Help! Help! My arm, my arm,'" Ferguson said. She added that deputies continued with aggressive force on Reid while she was screaming, "I'm not resisting arrest. It's just my arm, please help!"
After both deputies were able to handcuff Reid, the group that accompanied her reportedly began to approach and refused to step back. Of the group, Parnell said Lane was especially aggressive in refusing to back away. Nye then called for emergency back-up. Once several units arrived, Nye directed them to take Lane into custody for interference.
Lane said all he was trying to do was help his friend, screaming to the officers, "Get off her! Get off!"
"I didn't want anyone to die," Lane said.
Ferguson said a back-up officer arrived on scene and started arresting her friends who were not involved. She said the officer approached Lane in an aggressive way and kneed him in the groan.
"I was in pain. I had to hold my groans because I was in pain and [the officer] thought I was resisting arrest," Lane said.
Reid and Lane were placed into separate patrol vehicles. While on the scene, Reid complained of shoulder pain and was examined by Orange County Fire Rescue. It was reported that she needed further evaluation and was transported to Florida Hospital East. The report states she and Lane were later taken to BRC.
Lane said the officer left him in the police vehicle outside the hospital, in pain, for about two hours.
"I just didn't understand what was going on," Lane said.
Ferguson said although she is thankful that Reid is alive, recovering in a sling, she hopes to start a fundraiser for her.
"We're just trying to help her in any kind of way. Just imagine, we had her mom on the phone the whole time. She could hear her child screaming in pain, and can't do anything," Ferguson said.
Gustave said the incident lasted about 10 to 15 minutes from the time the off-duty officer left the lab to when Reid was arrested and placed in the back of the police car.
Lane said he was locked in a cell around 10:40 p.m. and wasn't bonded out until around 5 a.m. He was charged the first-degree misdemeanor offense of resisting an officer, according to court records.
Reid was charged with first-degree misdemeanor and third-degree criminal felony offenses for resisting an officer and trespassing on property after warning.
"This is not justice at all," Lane said. "I'm just outraged."
OCSO released a statement regarding accusations officers used excessive force during the incident:
"At this time, any claims of excessive force have been via third party (social media feeds, edited video)," OCSO public information officer Lourdes Clayton said. " ... As is customary in our agency, this arrest and use of defensive tactics/force will be reviewed by the deputies supervisory chain."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Marina Guerges is the Editor-in-Chief at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter @marinaguerges or email her at MarinaG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.
Rachel Stuart is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.