TAMARAC – A former BSO deputy, accused of using excessive force while trying to take down a teen back in 2019, was back in court Friday. Someone who defended his arrest tactics took the stand.
“Everything in me as a cop, my sixth sense, if you want to call it, was going off that day,” explained BSO Sgt. Greg LaCerra.
He was painting a picture of April 18, 2019, at a Tamarac Plaza that he said was seeing growing violence by kids fighting after school, and added it was a danger to deputies.
“We were immediately surrounded. The crowd just came right up on top of us,” he recalled.
LaCerra said that day he was making an unrelated arrest as crowds of student gathered around. That’s when he said then 15-year-old Delucca Rolle got too close and did not obey commands to leave.
“Delucca Rolle bladed his body in a pre-attack posture that in my training taught me he’s about to strike me. My training is, this day, I had pepper spray on me, I pepper sprayed him,” he testified.
After that pepper spraying, we seeon video trying to handcuff Rolle. In the video, we see him push Rolle’s head into the ground twice and punch him once in the head.
“My opinion is that was a beautiful display of lawful use of force and reasonable self-defense,” said Sgt. Mel Murphy.
Murphy was Krickovich’s training officer. He said the actions were by the book.
“I know violence is never pretty,” said defense attorney Jason Kroll to Sgt. Murphy on the stand. “Chris Krickovich takes his head and places it against the ground. Is that the training you gave him I under these circumstances when he’s encountering a subject who is in active resistance?”
“Yes,” said Murphy.
Prosecutors argued Sgt. Murphy knows Krickovich since he was his instructor.
“You’re basically opining on facts or an incident with someone you’ve known for years, since 2016 I believe?” prosecutor Chris Killoran asked Murphy.
“I know him through training, yes,” Murphy responded.
He asked if that was a conflict. Killoran also questioned the arrest tactics.
“In any of those classes, have you taught anyone from any agencies to slam a 15-year-old kid’s head into the ground,” Killoran asked.
“Not slam, but to pin a head down to the ground,” said Murphy.
Closing arguments are set to being Monday. If convicted, Krickovich could face up to a year in prison.