New details are emerging more than a year after the confessed Parkland shooter allegedly fought with a detention sergeant inside jail, CBS Miami reports. On November 13 2018, surveillance cameras rolled inside the Broward Sheriff’s Office Main Jail.
The cameras recorded confessed school shooter Nikolas Cruz pacing around some tables. Just before 6 p.m., Cruz became animated talking to Broward Sheriff’s Sergeant Raymond Beltran.
Apparently, Beltran complained about Cruz dragging his sandals. Cruz gave him the finger and, after a brief pause, rushed Beltran and started a fight.
Investigators said Cruz took the sergeant’s stun gun but no one was hit by it. After rolling on the floor, exchanging blows and continue to scuffle, Beltran eventually gained the upper hand and put Cruz in handcuffs.
He led Cruz away.
Court documents shed more light on what led to Cruz’s actions.
In the days after the attack, court records show Cruz’s public defender, Melissa McNeil, wrote an email to BSO saying “I have been reflecting on how this situation could have been different had you or the BSO taken action when I brought to your attention about Sgt. Beltran supervising Mr. Cruz.”
Department of Detention Director Lt. Colonel James Reyes responded forcefully to McNeil.
Court documents show he sent her an email saying, “Inmates housed in Broward County Sheriff’s Office Department of Detention custody do not get afforded the opportunity to select the staff that supervises them. I will not allow any inmate in our custody the opportunity to try and manipulate who supervises them and when they do so.”
Reyes said blame for the attack centered on one person.
“It could have been avoided if inmate Nikolas Cruz did not choose to violently attack a sworn deputy sheriff,” Reyes wrote.
McNeil countered with another email, saying she warned BSO about growing “friction” between Cruz and Beltran. The public defender asked if BSO could limit the interaction between Cruz and Beltran.
“I was trying to be proactive,” McNeil wrote.
Cruz faces several criminal charges related to the incident, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
BSO says there was no formal allegation of any policy violation by Sergeant Beltran.
Beltran no longer has contact with inmates at the moment. He was placed on administrative assignment following a DUI arrest in Washington State while in that area to transport a prisoner back to Broward.
The video from the jail attack highlights another issue. The video shows that it took about 2 minutes for other detention deputies to arrive at the scene of the attack. A law enforcement source told CBS Miami that typically that response time would be 20-30 seconds and that this was the exception and not the rule.
CBS Miami asked BSO about that response time to the attack. We were told they were looking into it.