The Broward County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation after a video showed a deputy slamming a teenager's head into the ground during an arrest last week. Deputies approached a teenager who was accused of being involved in a fight at Tamarac Town Square Plaza the previous day. As they were taking him into custody, another teenager reached down and picked up his cell phone.
The boy was confronted by one of the officers and "took an aggressive stance" causing the officer to pepper spray the teenager. As the boy began to run back into the crowd while holding his eyes, Deputy Christopher Krickovich grabbed him and tackled him the ground.
As the boy was on the ground, Krickovich was recorded slamming his head into the pavement as a growing crowd of on-lookers gathered around the officers.
"With the crowd closing in and the loud yelling and threats towards us, I pushed down the male to ensure my weight was full on his person so he could not attempt to take flight or fight against us," Krickovich wrote in his police report. "I had to act quickly, fearing I would get struck or having a student potentially grab weapons off my belt or vest."
The 15-year-old boy, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital for treatment. After he was released from the hospital, he was taken to a juvenile detention facility and charged with assault, resisting arrest, and trespassing.
Broward Mayor Mark Bogen released a statement calling for Krickovich to be fired.
"The behavior of these Broward Sheriff's Office deputies was outrageous and unacceptable," Bogen said. "The officer who jumped on the student punched the student and banged his head to the ground should be fired immediately. There is no excuse for a law enforcement officer to harm a teenager who was on the ground and who gave no resistance."
Krickovich was placed on "restricted administrative assignment" and had to turn over his badge and gun during the investigation.
"We will look at this as a fact-finding measure to ensure that we hold folks accountable," Sheriff Gregory Tony said. "I was appointed to this position exclusively about accountability and that accountability will be held not just for the sake of when we are right, but in the cases where we may be wrong."