Or­lando of­fi­cer won’t be charged

Kicked bur­glary sus­pect in the face, pulled hair dur­ing Jan­uary ar­rest

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Tess Sheets

An Or­lando po­lice of­fi­cer who kicked a bur­glary sus­pect in the face and pulled his hair while try­ing to ar­rest him in Jan­uary will not face any crim­i­nal charges, the Orange-Osce­ola State At­tor­ney’s Of­fice de­ter­mined af­ter re­view­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of his use of force.

Hil­liker’s ac­tions came un­der scru­tiny about a month af­ter the Jan. 14 in­ci­dent, when the Or­lando Po­lice De­part­ment re­viewed his use of force against bur­glary sus­pect Michael Von Bris­tol and de­ter­mined it “needed fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the agency said at the time.

OPD said Chief Or­lando Rolón re­quested a probe by the Florida De­part­ment of Law En­force­ment and opened an In­ter­nal Af­fairs in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Hil­liker, through an at­tor­ney, de­clined to be in­ter­viewed for FDLE’s probe, but gave his ac­count in a field re­port filed af­ter the in­ci­dent. FDLE in­ves­ti­ga­tors also re­viewed surveil­lance video and in­ter­viewed other of­fi­cers.

Hil­liker and two other of­fi­cers ap­pre­hended Bris­tol, 48, at an auto re­pair shop in west Or­lando, where they tracked him af­ter he was ac­cused of steal­ing a cell­phone and $45 from a nearby un­locked apart­ment.

While search­ing the auto shop on Irene Street, a po­lice dog alerted the of­fi­cers that a per­son was in­side a locked closet. In an in­ter­view with FDLE in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Sgt. Matthew Ring said he

“an­nounced his pres­ence with a canine, and that if the in­di­vid­ual did not come out they would get bit­ten,” ac­cord­ing to an FDLE sum­mary of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Ring said Hil­liker tried to open the closet door with a knife, then be­gan pulling on the han­dle.

The door “flew” open and hit Hil­liker, “who stum­bled back­ward in the hall­way,” FDLE Spe­cial Agent David Hub­bard wrote in the re­port.

Hil­liker wrote in his field re­port that Bris­tol ran down the hall­way to­ward him and he “was in fear that the sus­pect was go­ing to at­tempt to bat­ter/at­tack me,” so he “de­liv­ered a front kick with my right leg.”

Hil­liker said Bris­tol fell for­ward dur­ing the kick, caus­ing “my right foot to strike the sus­pect in his right chest/shoul­der area and my shin [to] strike him in the right side of his face.”

Ring said he al­lowed his po­lice dog to bite Bris­tol as Bris­tol ran at Hil­liker, be­cause he thought Bris­tol was go­ing to at­tack him or push past him and out of the business, Hub­bard wrote.

As the of­fi­cers were hand­cuff­ing him, Bris­tol ini­tially put

Hil­liker wrote in his field re­port that Bris­tol ran down the hall­way to­ward him and he “was in fear that the sus­pect was go­ing to at­tempt to bat­ter/at­tack me,” so he “de­liv­ered a front kick with my right leg.”

his hands be­hind his back, but then moved one hand un­der­neath him, Of­fi­cer Ryan Clarke told in­ves­ti­ga­tors. Clarke said he struck Bris­tol “a cou­ple” times on the back to get him to com­ply.

While his hand was un­der­neath him, Hil­liker said grabbed Bris­tol by the hair be­cause it was the only area he could grab “to gain con­trol of him.”

Bris­tol was ar­rested on charges of bur­glary, re­sist­ing an of­fi­cer with­out vi­o­lence, theft, pos­ses­sion of drug para­pher­na­lia, at­tempted deal­ing in stolen prop­erty and bat­tery on a law en­force­ment of­fi­cer. He has since been con­victed of sev­eral charges and sen­tenced to more than three years in prison.

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