LCSO deputy in violent arrest caught on video resigns

A Lee County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs investigation shows former Deputy Brian Hoyt, 42, “misrepresented facts” and showed “improper conduct” during the June arrest of Enzo Vincenzi, 53.

The attorney representing Vincenzi, Jerry Theophilophoulos, sent us a surveillance video of his client’s arrest. In the video, deputies are seen tasing the North Fort Myers man four times and dousing his face with pepper spray. The deputy who wrote the arrest report, Hoyt, called Vincenzi aggressive and said he “lunged” at the deputy’s vehicle; but that is not what we see in the surveillance video.

“Mr. Vincenzi was intimidated, he was tortured,” Theophilophoulos said. “He was nearly killed being tasered the amount of times that he was.”

A months-long Internal Affairs investigation sided with Vincenzi’s allegations and agreed deputy Hoyt provided “inaccurate information.”

“Not all law enforcement’s bad obviously,” Theophilophoulos said. “But when you have the few out there to do what they do and if they don’t get caught, they poison the rest of the apples. And that’s what Dept. Hoyt has done here.

“Thankfully, Mr. Vincenzi’s smart enough to have video and it contradicted all the lies that Deputy Hoyt came in and told us in his deposition in the criminal case of Mr. Vincenzi,” he added, “which was dismissed due to those lies.”

While the State Attorney’s office dropped the charges, Vincenzi’s attorney told us that his team plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit in June against the deputy involved. Hoyt has since resigned.

In a statement to WINK News, LCSO said:

An incident reportedly involving a confrontation between a Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy and a Lee County property owner resulted in an arrest in June of 2019.

In the arrest affidavit, the deputy, Brian Hoyt, stated that the subject charged his patrol vehicle, several times, in an aggressive manner. According to Deputy Hoyt, the subject then “proceeded to run” from the deputy while “reaching into his pockets.”

The deputy requested back-up and grabbed hold of the subject’s arm. With assistance from deputies that arrived following the initial incident, the subject was taken into custody.

During the course of a September 20, 2019 deposition, it became evident that the incident did not occur as Deputy Hoyt had indicated. Sheriff Carmine Marceno requested an immediate and thorough investigation through the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Unit. The investigation uncovered video that revealed discrepancies in Deputy Hoyt’s statements and the narrative of the Probable Cause Affidavit.

“We’re here to serve the public, not mistreat them,” Sheriff Marceno stated in a meeting with Internal Affairs. “It’s completely unacceptable,” he added.

Upon completion of a lengthy investigation and the location and review of video footage, as well as testimony from Deputy Brian Hoyt, it was determined that the deputy was no longer justified to remain on the subject’s property. It was determined that, despite belligerence and verbal abuse from the subject, he made no threats of violence and that Deputy Hoyt had an opportunity to leave the property without incident.

Having not been physically or verbally threatened, Deputy Hoyt was found to have demonstrated improper conduct and untruthfulness.

Following these Internal Affairs findings, Brian Hoyt tendered his resignation.

“This is an unfortunate incident that appears to be unjustified treatment of a Lee County citizen,” said Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “There’s no room, at this agency, for this kind of behavior. It’s completely unacceptable.”

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