Man claims Collier Co. deputies used "excessive force" after a traffic stop


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Man claims Collier Co. deputies used "excessive force" after a traffic stop

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Feb 11, 2013

NAPLES, Fla.- A 22-year-old is claiming Collier County Sheriff's Deputies used "excessive force" after he was pulled over back in October. He says deputies knocked him to the ground, punched him, and tasered him.

Mateo Falconi has hired an attorney and plans on filing a civil lawsuit. Falconi and a representative from the League of United Latin American Citizens held a press conference on Monday morning.

Falconi says he feared for his life during the October incident.

"Once you reach a point and surrender and you know you're going into custody, you expect to be treated with some type of dignity and don't expect to be jumped by 4 grown men," said Falconi.

According to reports, deputies first tried to pull the 22-year-old over on Livingston Road for speeding, but Mateo did not stop his motorcycle. Instead, deputies say he led them on a high speed chase with the motorcycle reaching speeds as high as 110mph. They claim Mateo also ran several red lights.

"I my hands in the air and I surrendered whatever happened before that I don't want to make a comment on," said Falconi.

Mateo argues he surrendered peacefully, but deputies knocked him to the ground and punched him several times as he begged for them to stop. According to reports, deputies claim Mateo got off his bike and looked like he might flee on foot. a deputy shouted for him to get on the ground, but Mateo ignored verbal commands.

Mateo showed us a clip of the dash cam video and tells us the clip has been edited and subtitles were added.

"Did you have any weapons on you at all?" I asked.

"No, I was surrendering with my hands behind my back." 

Fox 4 reached out to the Sheriff's Office for comment. A spokeswoman tells me it would be inappropriate to comment on this case or evidence since a criminal case is still pending. Falconi faces charges of fleeing an officer, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, resisting an officer without violence.

Mateo says he's hired 2 attorneys: one for the criminal charges against him and the other because he feels his rights have been violated.

"Why do you think you were treated like this?"
"I don't know.."

Fox 4 reached out to Mateo's criminal defense attorney and is still waiting to hear back. Mateo says he plans on filling a civil lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office sometime on Monday.