Cell phone video of family fighting with Lee deputies finally released

Sheriff's Office held phone for 10 days
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 22:22:00-04

LEE COUNTY - We now have the controversial cell phone video showing a family's heated fight with Lee County deputies.

The Fort Myers man who recorded the video says officers then confiscated his cell phone and threatened to keep it until he gave them the video.

But, even though he refused to give them his passcode to access the phone, they returned it to him ten days later.

Alex Martinez says Lee County deputies confiscated his phone because he recorded officers arresting his friend, 17 year old Waldemar Suarez.

Martinez wonders, "What was the point of keeping my phone for about 10 days for nothing?"

It all began on July 11th when Lee County deputies and DCF workers went to Jasmine Aguilar's home in Fort Myers to remove her two children.

Martinez was there and used his cell phone to record the incident.

His cell phone video shows a family friend, Waldemar Suarez, then became erratic and refused to allow deputies to take the children.

The video show Suarez as he kicked and punched one of the deputies as they tried to handcuff him.

Martinez stayed out of the way but kept rolling to show how officers reacted.

After a few minutes, Martinez says one deputy swatted the phone out of his hands, shattering the screen.

As deputies take Suarez to their patrol car, Martinez suspects they roughed him up.

Martinez tells us, "It kind of looks like they were hitting him and also in the video you can hear Waldemar say ‘ow!’ like he got hit."

He says that's when an officer came back to the house and demanded Martinez hand over his cell phone even though the deputy didn’t have a warrant.

Martinez says, "It was my right to be able to record the situation, especially since i wasn't involved."

An attorney we spoke with says it was illegal for the Lee County Sheriff's Office to take the phone without a warrant.

At this point, we have no idea whether the Sheriff's office was able to access the phone and copy that video.