Prosecutors investigate encounter in which deputies were slamming boy's head


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward prosecutors said Monday they have begun investigating last week's encounter in which deputies were recorded pepper-spraying, tackling and punching teens outside a McDonald's near J.P. Taravella High. 

The footage, widely shared through social media, has drawn a public outcry. It shows two deputies take a boy down, bang his forehead into the pavement and repeatedly punch him in the head.

"This incident is under investigation by my office," Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said in a statement, regarding Broward sheriff's deputies' encounter with students outside the fast-food restaurant at 8735 N. Pine Island Road in Tamarac.

The encounter happened Thursday afternoon about a half-mile from the high school in Coral Springs. Two teens were arrested, one of them a 15-year-old boy who was released from custody to his mom Friday.

"Our prosecutors and investigators had already scheduled a meeting for Tuesday with the attorney for the 15-year-old student," Satz said. "The student's family has hired a new attorney, and we are arranging a meeting with the new lawyer as soon as they are available."

The deputies involved included Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Greg LaCerra. The Broward Sheriff's Office said Friday that Krickovich was placed on restricted assignment pending an investigation. LaCerra's position with the agency remained unchanged as of Monday, the agency said.

"It may take some time but we will be transparent, and if folks need to be held accountable, it shall be done," Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a video statement released Friday afternoon.

The sheriff tried to calm the fears of black leaders over the weekend. "That's the most electrifying and dangerous situation for a law enforcement administrator to handle,' said Tony, who was appointed in January as Broward's first black sheriff. "Any time a white deputy is involved in contact with using force on a black youth, this thing blows up."

(Staff writer Lisa J. Huriash contributed to this report.)