Isaac Brevil is a 35-year-old resident of Delray Beach who served a seven-year prison sentence for rape. He was released last year. His mental competence is in question: a Flagler County court ordered him examined earlier this month. He’s been an inmate at the Flagler County jail for a month, on a fleeing and eluding charge. On Thursday, he was twice tased and subdued in a violent scuffle with deputies after he allegedly broke a plunger, turned it into a weapon and attempted to stab a deputy with it.
The deputy’s kevlar vest protected him from injury, but another deputy fractured an elbow during the scuffle that ensued as corrections personnel brought Brevil under control.
Brevil has been at the county jail since September 24, after an arrest for fleeing deputies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers on I-95. He was subdued in that encounter with a Taser shot to the head.
Brevil on Sept. 25 was driving an allegedly stolen PT Cruiser on I-95 in Flagler County at dawn when Flagler County sheriff’s deputies were alerted that the car had been reported stolen in Brevard County. Deputies requested the Florida Highway Patrol’s help as they set chase from a distance, after Brevi ignored an attempted traffic stop.
Brevil continued to ignore lights and sirens from an FHP trooper on I-95, pushing to 90 mph, according to his arrest report. Brevil weaved in and out of traffic, used the right emergency shoulder to pass cars, exited at State Road 206, blew through a red light and reentered I-95 southbound. Bevil evaded one attempt by the trooper to nick the back of his car with the “precision immobilization technique.” But the second attempt was eventually successful, though it smashed up the front of the trooper’s car.
Brevil sprang out of the car and attempted to flee on foot. He fell at a trooper’s Taser shot in the back of his head. “The suspect was not immediately responsive and had trouble standing on his own,” his arrest report read. A deputy administered a dose of narcan “in case he was suffering from an opioid overdose,” but Brevil eventually informed the trooper that the Taser shot to his head had made him unresponsive.
He was initially charged with grand theft, resisting an officer without violence and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer (because of the way he did not apply the brakes or attempt to slow down his car when it crashed into the trooper’s). All but the fleeing charge were dropped last Monday: the car had not stolen after all. Brevil was issued citations for driving without headlights, for improper passing on the right, and for blowing through a red light.
He was booked at the county jail on Sept. 25. On October 3, his attorney, Spencer O’Neal, filed a “suggestion of mental incompetence to stand trial” on Brevil’s behalf, stating that Brevil was disoriented as to time and place. He could not help in the preparation for his defense. That he has been unable to explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. And that he was paranoid. Brevil “does not believe he is in Flagler County and does not accept that attorney presented is an attorney,” the document reads.
Such suggestions are never frivolous–they are not filed the way certain procedural motions are routinely filed to delay proceedings or intimidate the opposition, and require a “certification of good faith” that “this Suggestion of Mental Incompetence to Stand Trial is
made in good faith and on reasonable grounds.” The same day, Circuit Court Judge Terence Perkins ordered that Dr. Roger Davis, a court-appointed psychologist, conduct the examination. A date was not specified. Davis is to determine whether Brevil “meets the statutory criteria for competence; that is, whether [he] has
sufficient present ability to consult with [his] lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and whether [he] has a rational, as well as factual, understanding of the proceedings against him.”
It is a high burden to meet, and if it is met, the court aims to return the defendant to competence as soon as possible to stand trial or further court proceedings. Either way, Brevil’s competency has not yet been determined, though Brevil’s past suggests he has been through court proceedings–and a prison term–with the necessary competency to do so.
He remained at the jail, a de-facto facility that by default serves as a drug-rehabilitation facility and, in some cases, as a default facility for people with mental health issues. Though somewhat out of date, a 2006 report by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 64 percent of the country’s jail inmates had mental health problems, that 19 percent of jail inmates were charged with violating jail rules, and that 8 percent were involved in physical or verbal assaults.
Thursday evening at the Flagler jail, Brevil requested a plunger to unclog his toilet. A deputy provided it to him. But Brevil would not give it back, and instead broke it in half. The act “created two sticks of wood that had sharp points,” his arrest report states. Deputy Douglas Evans, a 43-year-old deputy who’s been with the agency four years, have multiple commands to Brevil to drop the sticks, but Brevil did not do so. Evans and other deputies “stacked on the door and attempted to get [Brevil] away from the door,” his arrest report states. They then dropped “clear out” canisters or grenades that release a vaporous cloud and are a less-lethal way of attempting to gain compliance from individuals.
When Brevil continued to be uncooperative, deputies rushed into the cell. Evans reported that Brevil attempted to stab him with one of the sharp sticks. Evans fell from the wetness on the floor caused by the canisters, and was punched in the face with a closed fist, but was not inured. Another deputy, Abd Lulu, 24, who started at the agency soon after Evans, also reported that he was “struck with the wooden stick,” without sustaining injuries, as was a third deputy who was behind Lulu, that time in the leg. Two other deputies took out their Tasers and fired, one set of prongs landing on Brevil’s butt, the other on his upper back.
He now faces five new charges, including three first degree felony counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and is being held without bond.
“I will not tolerate anyone, especially an inmate, attacking a Deputy Sheriff,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release. “I commend our Detention deputies for how they handled a very dangerous situation and thank God the injuries were not any worse. We all pray for a speedy recovery for our Deputy.”
The release states that he had been held at the jail in part on “an extraditable warrant from Palm Beach County for attempted carjacking.” Brevil has an injunction for protection against sexual violence in effect in Palm Beach County since his release from prison, as a consequence of his earlier conviction for rape. He has a traffic infraction since. But his court record shows no case involving an attempted carjacking, at least not publicly. The warrant has been requested.