Former Orange County deputy dealing with perjury, battery prices

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A former deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is facing multiple criminal charges, according to the state attorney’s office.

Records show charges of perjury in an official proceeding, perjury when not in an official proceeding and battery were filed Wednesday morning against former deputy Ayler Cruz.

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“The State Attorney’s Office is grateful for the cooperation of Sheriff John Mina and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office regarding this matter. The commitment to victims of crime in the 9th Circuit by both of our agencies, no matter the identity of the accused, is paramount to successful community partnerships,” the state attorney’s office said in a statement.

Officials from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the charges stem from a Jan. 26, 2020 battery incident. Cruz resigned in July 2020 while that incident was under an internal review, which found that he violated policies pertaining to conformance to laws and unbecoming conduct.

“No one is more outraged than I am when a deputy is charged with a crime,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. “At the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, we are committed to working with our partners at the State Attorney’s Office to ensure that any alleged criminal behavior will be thoroughly investigated and we will hold employees that violate the law to account.”

Records show before he was terminated, Cruz was in trouble with the sheriff’s office a few years back.

On Sept. 26, 2018, Cruz was responding to a possible aggravated battery call on Ridge Point Drive in Orlando and immediately after he got out of his patrol car, he made contact with a man and he pulled out the stun gun, video from the encounter shows.

The man is seen walking toward the deputy.

According to the video, Cruz deployed his stun gun less than 10 seconds after getting out of his patrol car.

“You’re going to get tased,” he said. “I’ll promise you that. Get on the (expletive) ground.”

When the man asks, “What am I getting on the ground for?” Cruz deployed his Taser, the video shows.

The whole interaction between the deputy’s arrival, the Taser being deployed and the suspect falling to the ground lasts 20 seconds.

“I will tase you again,” he says when the suspect sits up. “You’re going to get tased again.”

The video ends with a woman telling Cruz, “I’m not trying to press charges. I’m just trying to calm him down.”

The man who was in the video told News 6 he just wanted to know why Cruz was there.

Cruz was initially suspended without pay and has since been terminated in connection with a separate incident. The sheriff’s office said he didn’t follow the department’s use of force policy during the encounter.

Check back for more update on this developing story.

Correction:A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the deputy was facing charges in connection with a use of force incident in 2018. The story has since been updated.

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