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January 15, 2014

Suwannee County sheriff’s deputy under investigation, complaint alleges ‘excessive physical force’ against citizen

Live Oak —

A Suwannee County Sheriff’s Deputy is under investigation following a complaint filed by the Suwannee County Branch of the NAACP for allegedly using “excessive physical force” against a local citizen. Deputy Kyle Descarreaux is accused of beating a Live Oak man following an arrest, which reportedly caused several broken bones in the jaw.

Sheriff Tony Cameron said his office is looking into the matter. 

According to a SCSO report, on Sept. 15, 2013, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Michael Lewis Butler, 51, Live Oak, was found on the property at S&P in Houston. Butler was advised on Sept. 1, 2012, that he was not to come back to the property at anytime. As Butler was placed into handcuffs, he became combative and snatched away from Descarreaux. At that time, Descarreaux took Butler to the ground, causing a minor cut to his chin, according to a report. Butler then stopped all resisting and complied with orders. Butler was transported to Shands Live Oak Regional Medical Center for treatment and then transported to the Suwannee County Jail without further incident.

Butler was charged with trespassing in a structure or conveyance and resisting arrest with violence. The charge of resisting with violence was reduced by the State Attorney’s Office to a misdemeanor of resisting without violence on Sept. 20, 2013. Butler stood before a Suwannee County Jury on Dec. 9, 2013 and was found not guilty of resisting without violence.

In a letter dated Dec. 20, to Sheriff Tony Cameron, NAACP President Lesley White recalled the incident, which he wrote occurred at 8:30 p.m. White wrote, “The victim was sitting down on the curb outside the store with his hands cuffed behind his back when Deputy Descarreaux viciously and repeatedly smashed Mr. Butler’s neck, face, and jaw with his knee.”

Butler submitted a letter to Cameron, dated Dec. 20, which stated, “Your deputy (Descarreaux) handcuffed me and while I was sitting on the curb at the store on Hwy. 90 East in Houston kicked me in my jaw several times.”

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