Inmate hit & kicked deputies, says report

OKEECHOBEE — An inmate at the county jail has been arrested for allegedly hitting and kicking detention deputies who were tasked with moving him to another part of the jail.

Kelvin Lopez-Vazquez

Kelvin Noel Lopez-Vazquez

Kelvin Noel Lopez-Vazquez, 24, S.R. 70 W., was arrested Tuesday, June 14, on three felony counts of battery on a law enforcement officer. His bond on those charges has been set at $45,000.

Lopez has been in the Okeechobee County Jail since his Jan. 30 arrest on burglary and dealing in stolen property charges. He was being held on $60,000 bond.

Deputy Ryane Ammons, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), stated in his June 14 arrest report a detention deputy entered the A-Pod cell occupied by Lopez around 3:30 p.m. and told the inmate to gather his belongings. Lopez was going to be placed in administrative confinement, which is similar to segregation.

However, the inmate reportedly refused and was warned that if he did not comply the deputy would use a chemical agent to gain that compliance. When Lopez continued with his refusal the detention deputy sprayed a 1-second burst of the agent onto the man’s head and upper torso.

According to the arrest report Lopez then struck the deputy in the face with a closed fist.

A second detention deputy entered the cell to help and was also hit in the face with a closed fist by Lopez, added the report.

A third detention deputy then entered the cell to help. While he was trying to gain control of the inmate’s legs, Lopez allegedly kicked him in the groin area.

At some point detention deputies gained control of Lopez and moved him into the new area.

Deputy Ammons said all three of the detention deputies were evaluated by the jail’s medical staff.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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