A Florida Sheriff’s Office is in mourning after a 25-year veteran passed away after getting into a physical altercation with a combative suspect Friday night.
According to the Florida Times-Union, Sgt. Michael Kunovich confronted Vergilio Mendez Friday evening while he was sitting outside a closed business in St. Augustine.
Kunovich attempted to question and pat Mendez down to check for weapons. Mendez pulled away and that’s when Kunovich called for backup.
The two then got into a physical struggle, ended up on the ground, and wrestled for a good six minutes before the other deputies arrived. At one point, Mendez reached for Kunovich’s taser. Deputies were able to handcuff him and knock out a knife out of his hands.
After Mendez was in custody, Kunovich collapsed and an ambulance was called. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Mendez has been charged with resisting arrest and murder. He is also being cited by ICE as an illegal immigrant.
The St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office is now in the beginning stages of planning a memorial.
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