BY CHRISTAL HAYES
ORLANDO SENTINEL / TNS
ORLANDO — As officers watched Markeith Loyd crawl toward them from the Carver Shores house he had been hiding in for more than a week, they all thought the same thing: The accused cop killer wasn’t going down without a fight.
Most officers said they thought he was hiding a gun in his waistband as he slowly moved toward them. Others said he reached for a rifle as law enforcement officers tried to handcuff him.
In the end, officers punched Loyd four times, kicked him five times and hit him with their rifles up to another five times before he was dragged back to a law enforcement vehicle and placed in the handcuffs of Lt. Debra Clayton, whom Loyd is charged with killing.
The revelations were part of 847 pages of court documents released Thursday that include police reports, warrants and transcripts of interviews with witnesses. The records shed more light on how Loyd’s pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Clayton were killed, Loyd’s movements after the shootings and why officers say they had to use force in Loyd’s arrest.
The police faced criticism after helicopter video was released showing graphic footage of the Jan. 17 arrest. The camera quickly panned away as officers started kicking Loyd.
The Florida Civil Rights Association called it “shocking and disturbing” and said it appeared to show officers kicking him after he surrendered with his hands spread apart. The group called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.
But Orlando police Chief John Mina said his officers used restraint in Loyd’s arrest and stressed Loyd was a “cold-blooded, ruthless killer.”
The officers who used force during Loyd’s arrest are still under a pending use-of-force investigation, which is customary.
For nine days after Clayton’s killing, law officers across the region looked for the convicted felon. Each day, they were briefed on the newest information on Loyd, his criminal history and the search.
They learned he had posted photos of three guns to social media — two handguns and a rifle — and that one of his goals was to be America’s Most Wanted. They also found out from a confidential source that he had “some type of military training which emphasized Loyd’s proficiency with mixed martial arts and ambush tactics,” records show.
The new records show that when officers surrounded Loyd’s hideout, they saw him close the carport door and go back inside. He tried to run out the back door, but officers were ready.
Loyd hid inside the empty house then opened the front door three times, dropping a jacket and two handguns.
He then went outside and crawled toward law enforcement officers. He moved “exceptionally slow,” as if he was trying to devise a plan, one officer noted in his report.
Another wrote Loyd was crawling in a “methodical way as if he had something on his chest or his waistband area.” One officer thought that as he was moving toward them, he picked up one of the guns he had thrown outside.
I “believed his intentions were to lure us to him, pull out a gun and shoot as many officers he could,” Orlando police Sgt. James Parker wrote in his report.
When Loyd got closer, officers told him to put his arms behind his back, but police say he didn’t comply. He “began lifting his hips off of the ground as if he was going to attempt to remove something from his waistband,” Task Force Agent Cedrick Hinkles wrote in his report.
Officers moved in on Loyd. They kicked him in the ear, twice in the shoulder and twice in the face, court papers show. Officers also punched him three times in the neck and shoulder, then once in the face.
Police say as Loyd continued resisting, they were also forced to used their rifles to hit Loyd in the back and once, by accident, in the face. He was struck up to five times, records show.
During the scuffle, Loyd appeared to try to go for an officer’s rifles, police said. Loyd was hospitalized after his arrest. He is now blind in his left eye.
Authorities had been looking for Loyd since Dec. 13, when police say he shot and killed Dixon.
On Jan. 9, Takeshia Bryant was shopping in Wal-Mart when she jumped in line ahead of a man. She recognized Loyd from a scar of his face, according to her witness statement.
Bryant told officers she knew him as her cousin’s soon-to-be ex-husband — and as a wanted man in Dixon’s death. She left the store and flagged down Clayton, who was loading her truck with groceries in the parking lot.
Minutes later, Clayton confronted Loyd, 41, outside the store, where police say he fatally shot her.