After Seminole County Tax Collector Ray Valdes allegedly attacked blogger Jacob Engels at a GOP event last week, medical records for Engels are claiming that Engels might have suffered pain as a result of Valdes’ actions.
According to Engels — and corroborated by a video he took with his cell phone — he had been asking Valdes questions about whether he had committed nepotism by hiring his sister-in-law to work for him. Valdes then allegedly became agitated, grabbed Engels’ wrist and grabbed the phone from his hand.
The medical records, from Affinity Health & Wellness Center, say Engels has experienced lower back pain and neck pain since the incident with Valdes. He rated his pain as 7 out of 10 on the scale, in which zero is no pain and 10 is “excruciating,” according to the report.
Engels’ lawyer, Ken Lewis, said the medical records had been released to the Altamonte Springs Police Department.
Valdes’ lawyer, Robert Fisher, didn’t think the news Engels was possibly hurt by Valdes sounded plausible.
“It’s interesting that taking a phone out of someone’s hand resulted in an injury,” Fisher said.
Fisher also addressed the claim that Valdes had muttered anti-gay slurs under his breath following the attack. He said that claim was “nonsense.”
“Mr. Engels made no mention of that in his statement to the police,” Fisher said. “There were three other people in the room, and none of them heard it either. It’s nonsense.”
Lt. Robert Pelton with the Altamonte Springs PD said no witnesses he had interviewed told him they heard such a slur. In addition, Engels was unable to explain to the police why he hadn’t told them about the slur when they first interviewed him after the alleged attack.
Lewis has requested that 18th Circuit State Attorney Phil Archer step down from the case due to Valdes’ deep connections in the Seminole County area, and for Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a special prosecutor for the case. But the state attorney’s office had not reached a decision on that as of Thursday afternoon.