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Teen Immigrant Faces Deportation After Cop Dies Of Heart Attack While Struggling To Arrest Him

Charges against Guatemalan teenager Virgilio Aguilar Mendez, accused of causing the death of Florida police officer Sgt. Michael Kunovich, have been dropped. The incident occurred when Kunovich questioned Mendez, who was speaking in a language unfamiliar to the officer, leading to a physical altercation resulting in Mendez's detainment and Kunovich's subsequent fatal heart attack. 

Medical experts suggested the stress from the encounter contributed to Kunovich's death. Mendez, charged with manslaughter and resisting an officer, faced federal custody since last year. However, recent expert testimony highlighting Mendez's language barrier and intellectual capacity led to the dismissal of charges. 

​​The 7th District Attorney’s Office released a statement announcing that the charges against Mendez have been cleared.

“Recent expert testimony regarding the defendant’s inability to comprehend the English language, his cultural background and concerns about his intellectual capacity have raised significant issues to consider in the case,” officials told the outlet. “Furthermore, based on the court’s recent ruling that the defendant is incompetent to proceed based on that expert testimony, dismissal of the charges is appropriate. Arrest and time served is sufficient.”

Advocates argued against his conviction, fearing dangerous precedents. Despite dismissal, Mendez faces deportation. 

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