LCSO: 1 in custody, 1 released after beating deputy during traffic stop

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
lehigh deputy beating
Credit: Ignacio Ramirez

A man and woman are were in custody after beating a Lee County deputy during a traffic stop, the sheriff’s office said. The woman has since been released from jail.

It happened Sunday evening at a Speedway gas station in Lehigh Acres after the deputy said he smelled marijuana coming from a car.

The attack was caught on video and may be disturbing for some viewers.

“Believe it or not, I’m in shock. I’m surprised,” said Ethel Mata of Immokalee.

“This does not comfort me at all. It’s too close to home,” said Yvonne Cuaro of Lehigh Acres.

A witness thought he was recording a simple traffic stop at the Speedway. It then became abundantly clear that the deputy was struggling to get the woman into the back of his cruiser.

About 90 seconds into the video, you see the man who was standing near the deputy and talking to him begin punching him in the head.

The camera pans away for a while and when it comes back, you see the deputy using his Taser on both the man and the woman, who falls to the ground.

Jezan Deralus and Diaundra Brown. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

“I think if the man is doing wrong and trying to hurt the cop, he should be able to do what he needs to defend himself,” said Jim Simpson of Lehigh Acres.

“Luckily he wasn’t so hurt that he couldn’t defend himself, and yeah, he had every reason to Tase them,” Cuaro said.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has identified the woman in the video as Diaundra Brown, 23. The arrest report says that she pushed the deputy while he was searching for drugs during the stop.

Authorities identified the man seen punching the deputy as Jezan Deralus, 21. Since he hit the deputy repeatedly, first responders had to take the man to the hospital.

During Brown’s and Deralus’s court appearance on Monday, LCSO showed the judge the deputy’s injuries.

“I hope I don’t see things like that a lot because of my safety; I’m concerned about my own safety,” Cuaro said.

“I just pray that people will just be more respectful to people like our policemen and our authority figures who are trying to help us.”

The sheriff’s office declined to talk on camera about the attack.

Neither Brown nor Deralus has a criminal record in Lee County. They are both facing charges of resisting an officer with violence and battery on an officer.

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