Ronald Tyler, a Pompano Beach, Florida tow truck driver, was arrested Sunday after he was accused of pepper spraying several people, including a one-year-old, following a dispute with a partygoer, news sources report. Tyler, 22, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of battery, bribery, issuing a false report during the commission of a crime, and misuse of 911. He was later released on unspecified terms. It is not yet known whether Tyler has hired a lawyer.
According to reports, Tyler works for Carmel Towing in Pompano Beach. The tow company provides its services to, among other places, the Olive Glen Community complex. Sources say Tyler returned to work for the towing company following his release from jail. “[Tyler] did nothing wrong,” a manager for the towing company said. “My guy was trying to defend himself.”
The incident began around 7:00 Sunday evening when a person with the Olive Glen Community complex called Carmel Towing to report an illegally parked Nissan Xterra. The illegally parked car apparently belonged to Daniel Sosa, who was attending a party at the complex. Carmel Towing sent Tyler to tow the car.
Tyler arrived and loaded the illegally parked car onto his truck’s swale, but he did not find the job easy. “When I got there, it was a zoo,” Tyler said. “Everyone was drunk and turned on me.” Sosa reportedly came out of the home and said he would move his car, even getting into the vehicle and driving it off the tow truck. This maneuver caused the bumper to come off the car, reports say.
Sosa got out of the car and accused Tyler of breaking his car’s bumper, sources say. At some point, Tyler reportedly “heard a pop,” and thought sure “it had to be a gun,” he told reporters. Allegedly out of fear, Tyler sprayed Sosa with “Police Magnum OC-17” pepper spray, reports say. The spray also indirectly hit a woman and her one-year-old daughter who were standing nearby, reports say. Tyler called 911 and reported that he had heard gunshots.
Police spoke with Tyler at the scene, and Tyler reportedly said he did not see the woman and her child when his discharged the pepper spray. Police also conducted an investigation of the area, spoke with witnesses, and determined no shots had been fired.
Faced with the charges, Tyler allegedly attempted to bribe the officer. Initially, Tyler is alleged to have said to the officer, “I know a drug dealer I can give you.” The officer said he had was not a narcotics officer and declined the bribe. Tyler then alleged said, “you can have all the cash in my wallet if you let me out of here.”
The officer again refused the alleged bribe. Tyler tried once more, allegedly saying to the officer, “I’ll call my job and have them sign over my $500 paycheck to you.” The officer called in backup and requested they bring a hidden tape recorder; Tyler allegedly repeated the bribe while being recorded.
Tyler later told reporters that he never tried to bribe the officer. “We were having a conversation, and he tried to make it into something,” Tyler was quoted as saying.
Source: 5.23.13 Tyler Battery.pdf.