Watch Former Theme Park Security Guard Detain Black Teen En Route to Basketball Practice [Video]

The state attorney said it appeared to be a case of racial profiling — but he’s not being charged with a hate crime.

A former Florida theme park security guard is being charged with false imprisonment after detaining a Black teen on his way to basketball practice.

Hillsborough state attorney office released a video of the June 8 incident, which bore ominous hallmarks of the George Zimmerman case — but thankfully not the same grim outcome.

The clip was recorded by Luis Santos, 54, showing the moment he stopped the 18-year-old and accused him of breaking into cars and stealing the bike he was riding, despite having zero evidence.

Pulling up alongside the teenager, he calls out the window “You work here? You live here?” demanding his address, but never even identifying himself.

Nevertheless, the frightened teenager provides his address, to which Luis replies: “You’re not going anywhere. You’re being detained. You’re not going anywhere.”

The teen can be heard apologizing, telling him “I’m sorry… I can go get…” before the video abruptly cuts.

State Attorney Andrew Warren also released a recording of the 911 call, as Luis tells the dispatcher he “has someone breaking into cars” claiming he even has it on video.

He says the suspect is “a Black guy”, saying he doesn’t know if he’s armed or not but that “I got him with his hands up.”

He also identifies himself as an off-duty officer.

Eight minutes later, sheriff’s deputies arrived to find the teenager with his hands still in the air.

According to the criminal affidavit, they “calmed the situation down and comforted the victim. Then they took this vigilante to task for what he’d done and referred the case to our office for potential charges.”

One officer then drove the teenager to his basketball practice.

Throughout the ordeal, Santos kept his right hand over his pocket in a “manner that made the victim feel as if the defendant may have a weapon, even though none was seen,” the affidavit states, per ABC News.

Santos faces third-degree felony false imprisonment charges; if convicted he could be imprisoned for up to five years.

He was released on $2,000 bond on July 5.

Although Warren described the incident as what “appears to be a case of racial profiling”, Santos is not facing hate crime charges.

Nor is he in trouble for impersonating an officer; although he left his theme park security guard job six months earlier, his certification was still valid.

“What happened that morning should upset everyone in our community. We have skilled police officers — we don’t need vigilantes confronting people on the street,” Warren said in a statement.

“There have been recent examples of confrontations like this across the country that have ended tragically. The fact that this didn’t end with a loss of life doesn’t make it any less of a crime. What Mr. Santos did is unacceptable and illegal — now he’ll face consequences for his actions.”

In similar circumstances in 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old Black high school student, was shot dead by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman, also in Florida.

Zimmerman was acquitted of murder after claiming self-defense, the verdict sparking widespread outrage.

[via TooFab]

Share This Post