Man files lawsuit claiming Apopka police beat him following noise complaint

APOPKA, Fla. — A veteran and former law enforcement officer who says he was beaten by Apopka police for playing music too loud in his driveway is filing a lawsuit against the city and county.

Jason Friend said he was sitting in his car, thinking about his late mother when the cops arrived for a noise complaint.

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After he failed to respond to them, video taken by a neighbor shows he was pulled out of his car by officers and beaten.

Friend, a former law enforcement officer from Maryland, said the way he was treated wasn’t following procedure.

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In their arrest report, officers said they heard a radio playing loudly. They claim Friend was drunk and when they tried to speak to him, and he never responded.

One officer said he tried reaching for the keys in the ignition, but Friend hit him in the arm, then they thought he was reaching for a gun under the seat so they tried pulling him out.

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Friend says none of this happened, and he didn’t even have a gun in his car.

“It’s a big cover-up from beginning to end. This story has to be told,” Friend said.

The arrest report said Friend turned violent and began punching officers, so they stun-gunned him and then arrested him. His charges were later dropped.

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On Wednesday, Friend’s attorney raised questions about the arresting officer, Nathaniel Tuck.

He left the Apopka Police Department after being accused of involvement with the Proud Boys and facing charges for participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The NAACP is also standing in solidarity with Friend. Several members stopped by the Apopka City Hall Wednesday asking the people of Apopka to speak to commissioners so more action can be taken.

The city and county both said they will not comment on pending suits. The city also said they haven’t been served yet.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.