Fla. Officer Fired After Video Footage Shows He Lied About Beating

Video footage shows Officer William Escobar punching and kicking Refus Holloway
WESH Screenshot
Video footage shows Officer William Escobar punching and kicking Refus Holloway
WESH Screenshot

In March 2014 Orlando, Fla., Police Officer William Escobar claimed that he used force only because Refus Holloway, who was trying to break up a fight, had resisted arrest.

Escobar would take that story to the witness stand, according to WFTV, testifying that he didn't hit Holloway, who is a former military police officer, after he was handcuffed. Escobar claimed under oath that he lay on Holloway's legs to stop him from trying to kick him. Because Holloway was trying to stand during the scuffle, Escobar claimed that he delivered two blows to the man's back.

"I proceeded to deliver two closed-hand fist strikes to Holloway's back, but since he was attempting to stand up, they ultimately struck him on the upper back, neck or shoulder area," Escobar said under oath, according to the news station.


Holloway and his family had been arguing that Escobar's story wasn't true. The officer was placed on alternative duty while the police conducted an investigation. Video footage of the incident taken by Holloway's sister using a camera phone confirmed the family's argument that Escobar's story didn't quite add up.

In the video, an officer, whom the news station identified as Escobar, can be seen standing over a man (which the news station identifies as Holloway) who is lying on the ground. It appears that Holloway's hands are cuffed behind his back when the officer delivers what appear to be several punches. The officer appears to kick the man and looks as if he yanks him up by his cuffed hands.   

Police Chief John Mina announced Wednesday that Escobar had been fired from the Orlando Police Department and that his behavior was not in line with the department's force procedure. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the video was released to Orlando police last June; there was no word on what took the police so long to come to this decision. 

"I absolutely do not condone the behavior of Officer Escobar," Mina told the news station. "William Escobar was terminated from the Orlando Police Department."

The news station notes that charges against Holloway—who was initially charged with battery on a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest—were dropped after the footage emerged.


Escobar is now facing two counts of battery and two counts of perjury charges.

Read more at WFTV and the Orlando Sentinel.

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