Officers used an excessive amount of force in trying to subdue 29-year-old Jason Dragash at a Sarasota nightclub, according to his attorney.
SARASOTA, Florida -- A Sarasota police officer has been fired after an Internal Affairs investigation found he used excessive force when arresting a Sarasota man for disorderly intoxication.
The beating sent Jason Dragash to the hospital with multiple facial wounds. The charges against Dragash for disorderly intoxication were dropped, but the police officer involved is in deep trouble tonight. "Yesterday, Officer Scott Patrick was terminated as a Sarasota police officer," says Captain Paul Sutton with the Sarasota Police Department.
The three month long Internal Affairs investigation included 1,000 pages of witness interviews, but investigators say video from the night club tells the story of what happened the night of August 4th.
A second video released today from Club Ivory on Main Street shows Officer Scott Patrick striking 29-year-old Jason Dragash up to 10 times. He was trying to arrest Dragash for disorderly intoxication. One witness says Patrick hits Dragash with "little hesitation" and choked him until he was unconscious.
Sutton says, "Police officers have to use force against resistance, it's what we're trained to do, but always it's the least amount of force."
Sarasota PD's internal investigation found that on the night of August 4th Patrick violated five of six department policies, including the use of obscene and offensive language. One witness says Patrick told Dragash, "I will f.....g kill you." Another witness says the beating seems personal.
According to the police report, Dragash harassed two women outside the nightclub and then began to verbally harass the police officer.
"It's clearly excessive use of force," says Andrea Morgensen, Dragash's attorney. She claims her client's civil rights have been violated and his life changed.
Morgensen says, "His life has been negatively impacted. He lost employment and a suffered a lot of embarrassment."
A police supervisor who arrived on the scene that night launched the investigation against Officer Patrick. Sutton says, "It shows the Sarasota Police Department does not tolerate excessive use of force."
The State Attorney's Office is looking into possible criminal charges against former Officer Patrick for battery. That charge carries up to a year in jail. A civil case is possibly pending.