Meanwhile, Deputy Alonso was uninjured.

Diaz told New Times that two guards advised him to file a complaint with BSO's Internal Affairs. When he bonded out the next day, before he'd ever spoken to a lawyer, he went straight to the station to file his complaint.

Diaz had never been in trouble before; he thought of himself as a law-abiding family man. He insists he's "never taken a drug in my life." And when he recounts the story now, he looks baffled. At six-foot-two, he nevertheless has a softness about him: a bit of a paunch and braces on his teeth, making the 37-year-old look like an overgrown adolescent. Gold chains holding a cross and a saint's medallion dangle from his neck. His dark eyes are limpid and expressive. He spreads his meaty hands and shrugs his shoulders, a pained expression crossing his face as he remembers that night. "Why? Why?" he repeats. He never anticipated that the incident that engulfed his life "would have gone to such extremes."

Daniel Cortes, after his run-in with North Lauderdale cops Tucciarone, Novello, and Sokol.
Daniel Cortes
Daniel Cortes, after his run-in with North Lauderdale cops Tucciarone, Novello, and Sokol.
Gina and Randy Brin, with Gina's son Daniel. The Brins have filed a dozen Internal Affairs complaints against North Lauderdale police.
C. Stiles
Gina and Randy Brin, with Gina's son Daniel. The Brins have filed a dozen Internal Affairs complaints against North Lauderdale police.

Multiple felony charges against Diaz were dropped to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and resisting without violence. A May 7, 2009, memo from Assistant State Attorney Erica Singer concedes she "does not believe there is a reasonable likelihood of conviction on the charges of Resisting an Officer with Violence, Battery LEO, and Depriving an Officer of his Means of Protection. The testimony of the defense witnesses and the defendant offer a reasonable account of the incident. The witnesses are credible and they each corroborate each other."

IA didn't agree. Its investigation exonerated Deputy Alonso. Diaz, "thinking of my family," he says, pleaded no contest to the misdemeanors. He has since filed a civil suit against BSO. He's back at work. Slowly, his life is returning to normal.


My client is not a likable man," attorney Mavel Ruiz says, describing 46-year-old Joseph Luckner. "Frankly, he's obnoxious." But that's no excuse, Ruiz says, for what happened to him at the hands of North Lauderdale Detective Robert Sokol on April 4, 2008. Of Haitian descent, Luckner has past addiction problems and a criminal record for possession of cocaine and theft. He's been in and out of court-ordered rehab. Ruiz doesn't dispute that Luckner entered a nail salon on McNab Road and made a scene the day he was arrested. He was shouting and stuttering. At some point, his loose pants slipped, exposing his blue boxer shorts.

A BSO deputy named Aisha Coker was in the salon getting her nails done. She was out of her jurisdiction, but when Luckner started acting up, she took matters into her own well-manicured hands.

Coker told Luckner she was a cop. But he didn't hear her. Luckner is hard of hearing, and off-duty, Coker was wearing jeans and a tank top. When Luckner left the nail salon and got into his SUV, Coker followed him. She stepped up on the running board, leaned though the window, and tried to take his keys. Luckner hit the gas, sending Coker backward.

Coker called for backup. Two Tamarac deputies pulled Luckner over a few minutes later. They testified in depositions that Luckner was calm and cooperative, that he followed orders to get out of the car, that he allowed himself to be handcuffed, that he wasn't injured when he was stopped.

North Lauderdale detectives Sokol, Novello, and Harell met the Tamarac deputies and took Luckner into custody. Harell drove him to the North Lauderdale station to book him on charges of battering Deputy Coker. By the time he made it inside the station, Luckner was a wreck.

So what happened between the time he was pulled over in Tamarac and the time he was booked in North Lauderdale?

Sokol's police report says Luckner kicked up such a fuss at the station that, while he was trying to subdue him, Luckner — who was handcuffed — fell and fractured his facial bones. "I removed Luckner from the back seat and placed him on the floor," Sokol writes, adding vaguely, "subsequently striking his face on the floor."

He's no clearer in a pretrial deposition. Sokol says he pulled him out headfirst, face up, and that Luckner struck his face on the concrete.

Luckner, Sokol says, was still "yelling, screaming, and kicking at deputies, striking us several more times. I struck Luckner three times in the chest area with a closed right fist to stop the violent actions toward deputies."

Luckner ended up with broken facial bones, pain in the jaw, and rib contusions. None of the deputies was injured. Sokol said in a deposition that he "didn't see any injuries" on Luckner. "I'm not a doctor," he said.

Broward General's hospital report notes that Luckner claimed he had been punched, kicked, thrown against a wall, and thrown down.

Luckner testified at trial that Sokol uncuffed him at the station. Then Sokol kicked the hell out of him.

It took weeks for Luckner's body to heal from what Sokol described as an accidental fall. "It's the oldest story in the book," attorney Ruiz says. "You see it all the time with domestic violence. How'd I get this fractured jaw? Oh, I fell."

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1 comments
debglee
debglee

THIS ALONSO WITH HIS CRONIES , Did NOTHING when i called in a theft in my home .. they took No Inventory and when i insisted they do something ,,, they Arrested me .... iN MY OPINION BSO = bULL sH*T oRGANIZATION  that was in 2006 ... they know who i am but they Know Not What I am Made Of ! 

 
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