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Sunday June 6, 2021

CHRIS ANDERSON | Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Anton Blandin pulled into a car wash with a packet of cocaine worth $1,100. He would have made a sale, too, were it not for the Punta Gorda Police Dept. detectives who showed up before his buyer did. He took off running.

“Stop or I’ll shoot you in the back of the head,” Blandin claimed one of the detectives yelled.

Blandin didn’t stop running. He continued across U.S. 41, nearly tripping, until he reached a travel agency. There, he was caught inside a fenced area and placed in handcuffs. The detectives, he alleged, then slammed him to the ground.

One of the detectives was Harvey Ayers, currently a code enforcement official that Sarasota County refuses to do anything about despite the troubling complaints against him.

Meanwhile ...

“Harvey Ayers stood up and then came down on me, knees first, on the center of my back,” Blandin alleged in a lawsuit. “He was asking me, ‘Where’s the dope?’”

Blandin alleges he was punched, then pepper-sprayed.

A photo of Sarasota County Code Enforcement Officer Harvey Ayers posted on Facebook. SARASOTA COUNTY CITIZENS RIGHTS COALITION

Bullying and stalking: A Sarasota code enforcement officer is accused of bullying and stalking. But official complaints receive little response

[Harvey] Ayers was with a Punta Gorda detective named Trey Frederichi that night, according to the lawsuit. Blandin claimed one of the detectives was rolling his head on the ground with their knee. He received blows to the head, face and ribs, and his handcuffs were painfully tightened before Ayers pulled him up by the arms.

When Blandin complained of the treatment, he alleged that Ayers got into his face and yelled “shut up you gold- tooth (expletive.)”

Sarasota County fails to protect citizens, and that’s unacceptable |OPINION