Veteran helps Pasco deputy take down man accused of punching officer

Jordan Caraballo, Pasco County Jail booking photo


PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is thanking a veteran who helped a deputy take down a combative man.

Officials said Ray Johnson stepped in to help when Jordan Caraballo started punching Deputy Jesse Larkin.

“I was able to get him down, control his head so he wouldn’t throw me and that’s when he started punching me in the abdomen,” Larkin said.

Larkin was responding to a domestic disturbance at a home in the 1700 block of Canoe Drive in Lutz on Monday.

“It was probably 20 seconds, but it felt like 10 minutes,” Larkin said.

Investigators said Caraballo had already thrown a glass object at a family member before Larkin arrived.

Calls to 911 reveal that Caraballo was arguing with his mother and sister, which led to several calls for help.

“He’s trying to break the house. He’s throwing glass, there’s children in here,” one woman in the house said to a 911 operator. “I need them here now. There are two little kids in the house. He’s slamming everything, threatening to hit me.”

Johnson said the noise got his attention and he saw Caraballo throw a mirror into the garage of a home. He also called 911 for help.

Body cam video shows Deputy Larkin approaching Caraballo, who was standing outside the home at the front door. In the video, Larkin can be heard telling Caraballo to put his hands on the wall. Caraballo replied with an expletive and became physically combative when the deputy reached to restrain him.

“I didn’t jump in because the officer needed help. I jumped in because clearly this person was resisting,” Johnson said.

Johnson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and licensed security trainer, said he did it to put an end to the confrontation as quickly as possible.

Johnson feared a bad outcome if the take down went on for too long.

“We are grateful for our community support and that you all have our backs when we need you!” said the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office on their Facebook page.

“He didn’t owe me anything and he stepped in anyway. I’m very grateful for that,” Larkin said.

Officials said no one was injured.

Carabello is facing four felonies and one misdemeanor charge.


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