Seffner, FL — Luis Orlando Santos Santiago, a 54-year old man from Florida who reportedly stopped a Black teenage boy and detained him after falsely accusing him of breaking into cars, has been charged with false imprisonment.
On the morning of June 9, a teenage boy, who was not identified due to privacy concerns, was riding his bicycle to go to basketball practice. Santiago then stopped him, interrogating him and asking him his home address.
Santiago told the boy that he was being detained before calling 911. He told the dispatcher that he was an “off-duty officer” and he detained the boy after allegedly catching him stealing on video. He even accused that the boy stole the bicycle he was riding.
When police responded to Santiago’s 911 call, the boy who was stopped was hyperventilating while his hands were above his head, according to a statement. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren added the boy was afraid that Santiago had a gun since he kept reaching for his pockets.
The police immediately verified that the boy had not committed any crimes when they arrived at the scene. They then drove the boy to his basketball practice.
After an investigation, authorities also found out that Santiago was not an officer but a former security guard. He was arrested and charged with false imprisonment for illegally detaining the teenager.
Meanwhile, the boy’s family hopes “justice [will] be served by holding the perpetrator accountable,” Titus O’Neil, a professional wrestler who is a friend and supporter of the boy, told WFLA.
“It is our sincere hope and desire that the outcome from this situation will show that there is zero tolerance for racial profiling and harassment in Hillsborough County, and that zero tolerance will extend throughout our state and our country,” O’Neil added.
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