Man with multiple sclerosis claims Oviedo officer pushed him to ground



OVIEDO, Fla. - Channel 9 spoke with a Seminole County man with multiple sclerosis who is suing Oviedo police after he claims an officer pushed him to the ground.

Armando Fuentes is a former South Florida detective who walks with a distinct gait and can barely use his left arm, which is why he's stunned a police officer claimed he felt threatened during an incident in Fuentes' driveway.

"As I'm getting my mail, he proceeds to lunge at me and boom, punches me in (the chest) and knocks me to the ground," said Fuentes.

The incident happened last year after a neighbor called police because Fuentes' dog had gotten out of the house.

Fuentes admits he got angry and told the officers to leave, but according to the police report, one officer felt concerned for his safety and pushed Fuentes on his chest.

"An officer should never ever, ever lay their hands on a person unless that person is subject to an arrest or to defend themselves or what have you," said Fuentes.

Channel 9 contacted police, who said they stand by their officer's actions, saying he did nothing to break policy.

Civil rights attorney Shayan Modarres weighed in.

"A lot of the use of force is just unnecessary or could just be avoided simply by an officer just stepping back, de-escalating the situation, you know, reevaluating whether the use of force is really necessary," said Modarres.

Fuentes and his attorney have filed a notice of their intent to sue. They said they'll file the lawsuit in January.

Oviedo police said it's the first civil rights lawsuit against their department.