St Lucie County deputy arrested on multiple charges

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A deputy was arrested after an internal review allegedly found the use of excessive force during an April arrest, according to a statement by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Eight-year deputy Randy Walker turned himself into the Martin County jail on Saturday after two arrest warrants were issued by the State Attorney’s Office.

Charges include one count of false statement and one count of misdemeanor battery.

An internal investigation was launched into the use of force during an arrest on April 2.

The sheriff’s office said there was never a complaint of excessive force.

According to the arrest report, Walker responded to Deerpark Avenue and Wintergarden Parkway to assist road units with the apprehension of a felony warrant suspect who had fled on foot into a wooded area.

K-9 units were dispatched and located the suspect lying under thick brush.

Walker stated that he delivered knee and elbow strikes while the suspect was “actively resisting” until he complied. Walker also stated that he struck the suspect again after he attempted to put his hands under his stomach so officers could not reach his hands in his case supplemental report.

Discrepancies were found between Walker’s report and on-scene body-worn camera footage.

The arrest report states the suspect’s hands were in clear view for law enforcement and was not “brandishing any type of weapon or appear to be endangering law enforcement in any way.”

The deputy also failed to report that he struck the suspect at least three times in the head/neck area.

Sheriff Keith Pearson posted a statement about the arrest on social media.

“As all use of force incident(s) are internally reviewed, per our policy, the supervisors and peers present concluded his actions that day were excessive and not the conduct we expect from our deputies,” Pearson said in a statement.

Walker is out on bond and is currently on unpaid administrative leave pending a notice of termination.