What you need to know:
Officer Kunovich developed an arrhythmia after struggling with Virgilio, whom he arrested only because he seemed suspicious. The 18-year-old is a migrant from Guatemala and faces charges of involuntary manslaughter. He could spend 30 years in prison
Maybe you’ve never heard the name Virgilio Aguilar Méndez, but his story deserves to be told and remembered once justice is served (because we trust that it will be). It’s about a young Mayan indigenous man of 18 years old from Guatemalawho was accused of involuntary manslaughter against a police officer in Florida.
It so happens that the St John County officer, Michael Paul Kunovich died of cardiac arrest after struggling with the young man trying to arrest him. Virgilio has been detained for months under that accusation.
The story of Virgilio Aguilar Méndez and his arrest for homicide
Was the May 19, 2023 when the 52-year-old officer stopped his patrol car upon seeing Virgilio Aguilar Méndez. He considered that The young Guatemalan “had suspicious behavior.”
According to body cam images officer Kunovich, He began to question Virgilio, but it was clear that the Central American could not sustain the conversation as he did not speak English. He tried to explain where he lived, but the officer insisted on seeing some identification.
By not being successful, Paul Kunovich attempted to handcuff him, but Virgil’s notable fear led him to resist. With the idea that in the United States resisting arrest is very serious, the police officer raised the tone of his voice and He began to apply greater force to subdue the 18-year-old.
More police helped Kunovich until they subdued him, now with greater violence. If at least three older and trained officers subduing an 18-year-old. The Guatemalan tried to tell them in his best English “no problem” and “stop”, but that didn’t stop them. Even when Virgilio was already on the ground, Michael Paul used his electroshock weapon on his leg.
Here comes an absurd situation. Yes, in the video you can see that Virgilio took the taser, but clearly trying to stop the police officer from using it again. But in the police report they noted that “While fighting on the ground with Sergeant Kunovich and other officers, the defendant grabbed the sergeant’s Taser in an attempt to gain control of the weapon.”
Virgilio Aguilar Méndez carried a knife that he used for his work in the field
The officer used the electroshock weapon more than once while another police officer applied a hold on Virgilio Aguilar by the neck.. He asked them to stop and mentioned the word “family,” trying to get them to go to his family to clarify everything. But none of that was taken into account by the officers, who continued looking for him to lie face down on the ground.
“Drop the knife or I’m going to break your arm.”says another police officer in Spanish when They found a pocket knife on Virgilio Aguilar. He tried to explain to them that He used it for his work in the field cutting watermelons and that they let him see his family, but the officers were doing their thing and only took him from the place of arrest.
“After taking control and handcuffing the accused, he armed himself with a folding knife, which he took out of the pockets of his shorts.s. “The officers gave loud verbal commands to drop the knife, which were ignored and the knife had to be forcefully removed from the defendant’s hands,” indicates the official report taken up by media such as El Comercio.
At the end of the arrest, With Virgilio almost crying in pain, there were at least five patrol cars and about 10 police officers surrounding him.…again, all this for a guy who was only 18 years old and did nothing but stand on a corner.
Virgilio Aguilar Méndez resisted arrest for fear of being deported
We know, there are always people who don’t take sides just like that. Surely someone thought of the typical “he who owes nothing, fears nothing.” Why did Virgilio Aguilar resist arrest?
The answer is simple: for fear of being deported. The 18 year old He arrived in the United States as undocumented. Just imagine seeing a patrol car approach you, not knowing how to speak English, and seeing that an officer starts asking you for things and tries to handcuff you. Don’t forget that we are talking about an 18-year-old boy… 18 years old!
What’s worse is that in a subsequent press conference, St. John County Sheriff Robert Hardwick stated that The arrest occurred because the young man was committing a break-in and took out a knife to attack the officers, which The video of the arrest refutes it.
We leave you below the video of the arrest of Virgilio Aguilar Méndez, which was shared by Julio Ricardo Varela; He interviewed the defense attorney in charge of the case, Phillip Arroyo. You can see Kunovich’s body cam recording starting at minute 23:05.