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Ambulance driver dies after police beating

Francisco Shol, 53, of Indianville, Punta Gorda, ambulance driver for the Punta Gorda Hospital, was laid to rest today in at the Punta Gorda Cemetery, and a policeman is being investigated for his death.

The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 14, at the PG Sports Bar in Punta Gorda.
Witnesses told police that Shol was socializing at the bar when a policeman who was not from the Punta Gorda Formation went into the bar and began drinking with Shol.

The policeman afterwards beat Shol in the bar, then dragged him outside and beat him again.

The policeman then put Shol in the pan of a pickup truck and took him to the Punta Gorda Hospital.

Shol was later found in a drain a short distance from his home. He was rushed back to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where he was stabilized and shortly after, he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by Wings of Hope Air Ambulance, but he died shortly after while receiving medical treatment.

Doctors who examined him said that he died due to fractures in his skull due to blunt force trauma (he was beaten in his head).

Inspector Ornel Dominguez, the Commanding Officer of the Toledo District Police, said that at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 14, police went to the Emergency Ward in PG Hospital, where they saw Francisco Shol unconscious.

Their investigations revealed that earlier, about 8:00 that same Friday evening, Shol’s family found him lying in a drain near his home, on Toledo Street, and he was unconscious.

During a press brief today at the Racoon Street Police Headquarters, Commissioner of Police David Henderson said that Shol’s death was under investigation, and that if it is found that the policeman is responsible for the death, he will be dealt with to the full extent of the law. He said that such behavior will not be tolerated, and that the department will not tolerate excessive force and the beating and abuse of citizens.

ComPol Henderson said that this does not only apply to the case in Punta Gorda, but across the board.

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