VIDEO: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office sued over alleged excessive force during arrest of homeless man in 2015

VIDEO: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office sued over alleged excessive force

SARASOTA (WWSB) - A homeless man who was slammed to the ground while being arrested in August 2015 is now suing the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, accusing deputies of excessive force.

Michael Basile was arrested for allegedly being drunk and disorderly. The arrest report says Basile was cursing and threatening deputies throughout the arrest process and that they had to restrain his arms to perform a breathalyzer.

Deputies say that’s when Basile kicked backwards, hitting a deputy in the leg. That’s when a deputy slammed Basile to the ground in order to “gain compliance,” fracturing Basile’s eye socket.

Michael Basile
Michael Basile

Basile was additionally charged with battery of an officer, but those charges were dismissed by the State Attorney's Office because the video did not clearly show a kick.

The video was forwarded to the sheriff’s Internal Affairs division and with a memo that says the deputy involved, Shaun Martin, “may have been able to handle Basile’s resistance with less force.”

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Basile argues just that and is seeking more than $100,000 in damages.

In a court filing, Basile says the force of the impact knocked him unconscious and he had to be taken to the hospital where several of his teeth had to be removed. He needed metal hardware and a bone graft to fix the damage to his eye socket and a second surgery was required after.

In addition, Basile says the charges of battery of an officer were falsely filed and is malicious prosecution. Basile says the Internal Affairs investigation shows excessive force was used, resulting in Martin's suspension.

ABC7 is reaching out to the sheriff’s office for a response to the lawsuit filed by Basile.

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