Video appears to show deputy strike Clay County murder suspect during arrest

Travis Roe, his 3 brothers arrested in connection with 2019 beating death

The family of four brothers arrested in connection with the 2019 murder of a man in Keystone Heights is alleging police brutality against the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. – The family of four brothers arrested in connection with the 2019 murder of a man in Keystone Heights is alleging police brutality against the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

This comes after the killing of 34-year-old Stephen Petty in late 2019. According to investigators, Perry was beaten by a group of people with baseball bats and other items following an altercation in Keystone Heights. Perry was taken off life support roughly one week after the attack.

Five people have been arrested in connection with Perry’s death, including four brothers from the Roe family of Keystone Heights.

Kalvin Roe was the first to be arrested in the days after the beating. He was originally arrested on assault charges, but he was re-arrested in early August and his charges were upgraded to second-degree murder.

His three brothers have also been arrested. They include Caleb Roe and Travis Roe, who have been charged with second-degree murder, as well. Their other brother, Jesse Roe, has been charged as an accessory in the crime.

The family is speaking out specifically after the arrest of Travis Roe on Aug. 27. The family had video surveillance on its property and provided a copy of the video to News4Jax. In the video, it appears deputies crash their vehicle into Travis Roe’s truck. And then when he’s out of the car with his hands up, the video appears to show a deputy strike him in the head. When he goes toward the ground, the video appears to show other CCSO personnel get on top of him, but the last portion is obscured by the truck, which is blocking the view.

News4Jax spoke with Travis Roe by phone from jail. He said he struggled to get medical care inside the jail after the arrest.

“I was in compliance. I went up to the cops, and they started hitting me. I got hit with something very hard on the right side of my face. My hands were on my truck. They got me on the ground, the cops were kicking me in the side and punching me on the right side of my face, and so I turned my face so that he would stop hitting me on the right side of my face,” Travis Roe said.

News4Jax also spoke with Douglas Roe, the father of the four suspects. He said he believes the Sheriff’s Office acted inappropriately.

“What they are doing is escalating. What they’re looking for is to find out how far they can push a button to get somebody to do something. We have nothing to hide. We weren’t involved,” Douglas Roe said. “You don’t have to pull people over and beat them up to try to coerce them into saying something that is not right.”

News4Jax asked the Sheriff’s Office for comment on the video of the arrest, and the agency sent the following response Thursday afternoon:

“We are unaware of a complaint being filed at this time. We were recently made aware of the video showing the arrest of a murder suspect, and we’re currently reviewing the footage to determine if appropriate or inappropriate actions occurred.”

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson reviewed the video and said he believes an investigation into the arrest needs to be conducted.

“Totally unnecessary force when the man has his hands up,” Jefferson said. “I think a review is necessary because what prompted the actions of the officer?”


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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.