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Minutes later, as Perez is trying to stand up, Childers apparently kicks him in the chest, then kicks him again. Perez falls back to the ground and Childers stands with his foot on Perez for five minutes.
While Childers stands with his foot on the inmate's torso, two other law enforcement officers walk over to see what is going on and then go about their business.
The witnesses -- one a former police officer from North Carolina -- say they were waiting to sort out a traffic accident on June 26 when they saw the initial arrest of Perez.
The officer repeatedly punched Perez in the face and pushed his face into the concrete as he tried to handcuff Perez, who was drunk but otherwise calm, said Robin Peters and Ann Marie Locklear Wednesday.
Perez was not bleeding when the officer arrived, and was too drunk to be fighting back, they said.
"I felt sorry for the suspect," said Locklear, a former homicide detective from North Carolina who was visiting Sarasota that day. "It appeared to be an excessive use of force."
SARASOTA - Police Chief Peter Abbott was put on administrative leave Saturday over the mishandled criminal investigation of an officer who was recorded on video kicking a handcuffed man.
City Manager Bob Bartolotta said Abbott would remain on paid leave pending the outcome of an administrative investigation. The move came the day the Herald-Tribune reported that the lead detective in the criminal case was told to take "cash for an instant settlement" to his first interview with the man who was kicked, Juan G. Perez, 21.
The lead detective in the case, Sgt. Ken Castro, helped negotiate the deal with Perez. In exchange for $400, the detective asked Perez to sign a release saying he would not sue the city. The detective also offered the department's help in keeping Perez out of jail in the future, and drove Perez to the bank to cash the $400 check