Judge orders release of arrest video - FOX 13 News

Judge orders release of arrest video

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In his mugshot, 29 year old Jason Dragash's eye is nearly swollen shut. He looks beaten, bloodied and bruised. Documents show he was hit repeatedly by the Sarasota police officer who arrested him.

"I think there's no question that the force was excessive. I think that's clear from the agency's own rules," said Andrea Mogensen, Dragash's attorney.

Mogensen says it may be just as clear from surveillance video from the night club where it happened. But police have refused to release that video, citing an internal investigation.

But Tuesday, a judge ordered them to cough it up within the next five days.

"It's been 60 days since these events. Any person without a badge who conducted themselves like this would already be past their arraignment and well on their way to criminal prosecution," Mogensen said.

Two months ago, Dragash was accused of getting drunk and obnoxious at a Sarasota nightclub. But when police tried to arrest him, there was a scuffle. According to records, Officer Scott Patrick admits he "punched the defendant in the right side of his face" about "ten times" to get him to comply.

After the punches, Officer Patrick put him in a choke hold, which is considered deadly force by most agencies.

"I think the big question of the day is, where's the criminal prosecution of the officer? Where's the state attorney and the 12th Judicial Circuit when it comes to the prosecuting law enforcement officers?" says Mogensen said.

Dragash was arrested for disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest, but those charges were dropped. He's now considering whether to sue.

Police aren't talking about the incident or the video, but sources who were there that night and have seen the tape, say the beatdown was caught on several different cameras from different angles. And they say it very clearly shows what happened.

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