Drug suspect tried to strangle deputy with handcuffs during arrest, authorities say



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County deputies said a tip from residents fed up with crime in their community led them to a stash of drugs, guns and cash at a home on Victoria Boulevard and when investigators showed up, the suspect attacked a deputy.

Channel 9 learned the suspect in the case, Nelson Vargas, was suspected of killing a man not far from the home during an argument over his stripper girlfriend in 2012, but he was released due to lack of evidence.

Vargas has since been arrested for his latest run-in with the law after authorities said he tried to kill a deputy with his handcuffs.

Neighbor Aida Robles said she saw Vargas trying to choke the deputy with handcuffs during his arrest on Tuesday.

Investigators said Vargas slipped the cuffs in front of his body and around the officer's neck.

Robles said the struggle lasted roughly three seconds.

The struggle happened during a raid at the 27-year-old's home in East Orange County after he tried to escape, authorities said.

An Orange County deputy lives across the street from Vargas's alleged drug house, but it wasn’t enough to deter him, according to investigators.

Vargas and another man, Omar Espinosa, were arrested and booked into the Orange County Jail.