MANATEE — A Manatee jury Thursday acquitted a 75-year-old man of attacking a 31-year-old sheriff’s deputy while the officer attempted to serve an arrest warrant on the man’s grandson.
The two-woman, four-man jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before finding Benjamin Daker not guilty on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence in Manatee County Judge Gilbert Smith’s courtroom.
Daker was arrested July 24 after Deputy Jason Riley searched his home in the 3100 block of Cortez Road in West Bradenton.
Deputies had an arrest warrant issued for Daker’s grandson. When Daker told authorities his grandson was out of state, Riley insisted the residence be searched.
He allegedly placed his arm across the doorway, blocking Riley.
When Riley attempted to walk past him, Daker reportedly pushed Riley in the chest and then struck Riley on the right side of the face with his fist, according to the arrest report.
Daker’s lawyers, Colleen Glenn and Andrea Mogensen, told jurors that Riley had no legal authority to forcibly enter their client’s home. They also said there was no evidence their client intentionally struck the officer. Prosecutors had argued Riley lawfully forced his way into Daker’s home.
Glenn said Riley had no visible injuries from the incident.