A Florida police officer who was seen on body camera video pushing an 18-year-old suspect off a roof earlier this year was handed an eight-hour suspension as punishment for using excessive force.
Kissimmee officer Plenio Massiah fulfilled his penalty last week by giving up a single vacation day.
The cop was disciplined after an internal investigation into the March 3 arrest of Yadiel Torres, which saw the teen being pushed off the roof by Massiah and then tased by Sgt Anthony Amada.
Amada, who had served with the department for 14 years, quit the force in June.
Kissimmee police Sgt. Anthony Amada and Officer Plenio Massiah wanted to speak with Yadiel Torres, 18, seen on the roof, top left, in connection with a possible stolen car
When police arrived, Torres, pictured, ran upstairs and jumped onto his roof
Down below, police officers could be heard encouraging Torres to jump down to the ground
As the body camera video shows, Amada ordered Massiah to ‘push him off’ after Torres climbed the roof and refused to come down to answer questions about his ex-girlfriend’s car, which the teen had been accused of taking without her permission.
When officers arrived at the home, Torres ran upstairs and climbed through a window onto the roof.
The video showed the man sitting on the edge of the roof some nine feet above the ground, with his feet dangling over the edge when he was suddenly pushed without warning.
Officers could be heard urging Torres to ‘Come down!’ and ‘You’re going to get tased and you’re going to fall. So, you better jump!’
But Torres refused to jump down to the patio below where Sgt. Amada was waiting for him, according to WFTV.
Officer Massiah chased Torres and was encouraged by a fellow officer to push him off
Both officers were disciplined as a result of this action as Torres was pushed. Amada resigned
‘Now you’ve got no choice but to jump down, now you’ve got no choice,’ Officer Massiah told Torres.
Amada then repeatedly told Massiah, who was up on the roof, to push him down.
‘Push him off the roof! Push him off! Just push him off! Push him off!’ Amada said.
Video shows Massiah placing his right hand on Torres’ right shoulder and shoving him off the nine-foot roof to the ground below, whereupon Amada tasered him as soon as he hit the concrete reports WKMG.
Torres fell nine feet to the ground whereupon he was tased by Sgt. Amada
‘All right, hey, I’m down. I’m not resisting,’ Torres screamed as the Taser was fired into him
‘All right, hey, I’m down. I’m not resisting,’ Torres screamed as the Taser was fired into him.
Kissimmee police said both officers wrongfully put Torres in danger.
Incredibly, Torres was not injured after the fall and the tasing, but the Kissimmee police chief said that he could have been.
Kissimmee police had launched an internal investigation into the actions of the officer and the sergeant.
A 41-page report concluded that Massiah feared that there could have been a struggle between himself and the suspect while up on the roof that would have seen them both fall off.
Police said Torres’ ex-girlfriend, who called in the car theft, told them that he was known to be armed, although there was no evidence that he was.
Torres was arrested on charges of third-degree grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting an officer without violence and violating the terms of his pretrial release stemming from a domestic violence case.
He pleaded guilty to all three charges in May and was sentenced to probation.
Incredibly, Torres was not injured in the fall or subsequent tasing. He is pictured here falling to the ground
As a result of the police investigation, the department docked Massiah for eight hours vacation time, ‘for failing to follow KPD general order’.
The police code of conduct notes: ‘Members shall use only the degree of force necessary to affect lawful objectives.’
Police Chief Jeff O’Dell said, ‘Massiah’s decision to push the suspect off the roof could have resulted in significant injury.’
Amada, who had 14 years of experience with the force, ended up resigning from the department in June.
He had already been disciplined in a separate case when this particular investigation began and would have been fired in this instance.