Screenshot via Flagler County Sheriff’s Office
A routine traffic stop for a stop sign violation escalated quickly in Bunnell, Fla. on Friday after a convicted felon pulled an illegal firearm on a Flagler County Deputy. It was all caught on camera.
In a statement on Facebook, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) explains that a Deputy Smith stopped Alphonso Brooks, who “seemed unusually nervous.”
Shortly after the stop, two more officers arrived on the scene; Bunnell Officer Hirshi and FSCO K-9 Deputy Duenas pulled up with his K-9 partner, Valor, to assist.
Deputy Duenas had Valor “perform an exterior narcotic search on the vehicle.” Valor alerted on the car, which “indicated the possible presence of narcotics in the vehicle.”
Deputy Smith explained to Brooks that because the canine alerted on the car, it gave the officers probable cause to search it. After lighting a cigarette, body camera footage shows Brooks opening his car door and then hesitating.
Seeing all the officers on scene, Brooks says, “You got too many g** d***** cops over here… I’m scared man.”
“Sir, go ahead and step out of the car. Step out of the car,” Deputy Smith replies.
The body camera video shows Deputy Smith give Brooks plenty of room to exit the vehicle. As Brooks begins to move out of the car, he reaches behind him and grips a firearm.
The FCSO statement reads, “As [Brooks] stood up, the grip of the pistol was grasped in his right palm with his fingers wrapped around the grip, consistent with how a firearm is fired. Deputy Smith immediately began to yell ‘GUN! GUN! GUN!’ and drew his firearm from its holster.”
Realizing what Brooks was doing, Deputy Smith pinned Brooks to the car’s door frame until he dropped the gun and other officers on scene placed him in handcuffs.
Sheriff Rick Staly stated, “This encounter could have quickly become a deputy involved shooting caused by the suspect’s actions.”
He added, “Deputies Duenas and Smith along with Bunnell Officer Hirshi showed great restraint and are safe because of their training and teamwork. This could have had a very different outcome with the death of Brooks or a deputy or officer.”
Brooks is now facing four felony charges: “aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed firearm.” He is being held on a $50,000 bond.
The sheriff’s office provided Brooks’ criminal history, as well. The statement shows Brooks was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation and conduct in 1997 and aggravated battery in 2002. Both convictions would not have allowed him to pass a federal background check to purchase a firearm.
The report doesn’t state how Brooks obtained the gun.