On March 15, 2014, Orlando Police Department Officer William Escobar was accused of unnecessarily striking Mr. Refus Holloway during an arrest, and perjury in his police report about the incident. Officer Escobar and his partner were responding to a call about a fight, and had just arrived on the scene. They arrived at the location of the fight, arrested one individual and then arrested Mr. Holloway.
Mr. Holloway's sister recorded part of the event on her cell phone video camera, which showed Escobar punching Holloway twice and kicking him while he was handcuffed. The video was used as evidence in Escobar's case. Mr. Escobar was charged with one count of battery for punching and one count of battery for kicking Holloway.
Escobar was also defending himself against two counts of perjury for allegedly lying on his police report. Although he was initially assigned a union attorney to defend his case, the attorney was seeking a plea bargain that included jail time that would ruin Mr. Escobar's career in law enforcement. Escobar believed it was in his best interest to find an attorney that would be able to fight for his innocence against the allegations.
When Mr. Escobar approached the Law Offices of Mark Horwitz, we decided to fight for his complete innocence in the case, and immediately requested all related materials and documents he had in his possession.
While the cell phone video of Mr. Escobar did indeed show him punching and kicking Mr. Holloway, the defense was that Escobar reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to protect himself, his partner, and prevent Holloway's escape. When the cell phone video was shown frame by frame, the jury could clearly see Mr. Holloway failing to comply with the officer's requests in spite of his testimony that he was totally compliant.
Additionally, a third officer was wearing a body cam, which had video that was also played at trial. The video showed Mr. Holloway after the arrest stating all he did was grab the arresting officer's foot. This statement was contrary to Mr. Holloway's testimony, and the jury found Mr. Escobar not guilty on all accounts.
At the Law Offices of Mark Horwitz, P.A., we pride ourselves on listening intently to our client and gathering every fact to help present a clear, informative and persuasive case. If you are facing charges and want someone experienced on your side, give our office a call today.
All cases are different and prior successes do not guarantee future outcomes.