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Shocking MCSO body camera video shows suspect choke and bite K-9 unit

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 11:49 PM EDT
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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) - A video of Cpl. Branden Donahue with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and his K-9 partner Scout caught the attention of people across North Central Florida.

Branden Richter, who has felony warrants, was trying to flee deputies who spotted him. After a more than 6 minute battle, he was taken into custody with a few additional charges.

“At some point in the video, you see him trying to give a false name to one of the other deputies that were standing there,” said Sgt. Paul Bloom, the Public Information Officer for the sheriff’s office. “They called him out on that like we already know who you are, so no need for another charge on that.”

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Sgt. Bloom said he tried running from deputies in the past. According to Sgt. Bloom, in this specific instance, with Richter holding a gun, deputies could have used deadly force because their life was in danger.

“This suspect had a gun, refusing to put the gun down and finger on the trigger. It is a life-and-death struggle at that point. We are going to do all we can to deescalate a situation anytime we come across that to a degree. We are still concerned with our safety and the safety of the public,” explained Sgt. Bloom.

He said deadly force is never something deputies want to use.

“Any deputy that has been in this business for a number of years will tell you they hope they come to work and never have to touch that firearm that they carry,” said Sgt. Bloom.

Scout, who was bitten on the ear and choked, was taken to the veterinarian’s office and is doing well. His partner Cpl. Donahue is also doing well and recovering. Sgt. Bloom said Richter isn’t saying much.

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Richter is being held at the Marion County jail facing multiple charges including, two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on a police K-9, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

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