Michael Devitt

From LEO Ratings

leoratings.com is celebrating our 1-year anniversary of researching incidents involving law enforcement officers in the U.S. We've reported on 277 incidents involving 338 officers from 195 agencies in 42 states. Please help us by following, liking, commenting, retweeting/sharing, and telling a friend to spread the word!

Service Record

Agency Orange County California Sheriff's Department
Rank Deputy
Dates of Service Hired approximately 2012.[1]
Salary $224,114 (2020)[2]
Last Known Status Administrative Leave[1]

Incident Reports

2018 Arrest of Mohamed Sayem

On August 19, 2018, Sayem was passed out in his car in an alley. Devitt approached Sayem to determine his condition. Deputy Eric Ota arrived as backup. As Devitt and Sayem talked at the open driver's door, Devitt told Sayem to not get out of the car and attempted to restrain him in the vehicle. Sayem objected, and the incident turned violent. Devitt pulled Sayem from the vehicle and punched him several times. Devitt and Ota took Sayem to the ground and handcuffed him. The deputies talked to Sayem while they waited for an ambulance. When Sayem asked, "Are you going to shoot me?", Ota replied, "I'd like to".[3][4]

At the scene, Devitt described that Sayem had tried to bear hug him, which required the use of force. In Devitt's written report, he doesn't mention the bear hug, but claimed that Sayem had grabbed onto his vest.[4]

Sayem was arrested on a felony charge of resisting an officer with threat of violence, and misdemeanor charges for resisting arrest and public intoxication.[3][5]

The incident was recorded by the officer's dash camera.[6]

Response Timeline

Sayem pleaded not guilty to the charges.[4]

The department issued a statement that "the deputy used force appropriate for the situation to gain control of an uncooperative, assaultive and intoxicated person".[4]

On October 19, 2018, the Sheriff released a video statement, describing it as "an appriopriate use of force".[7]

On August 13, 2019, Sayem filed a lawsuit against the county.[8]

In September 2020, the District Attorney dropped the felony charge against Sayem.[5]

Sayem pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of delaying an officer.[3]

On May 10, 2022, the County Board of Supervisors approved a payment of $250,000 to settle the excessive force complaint.[3]

2020 Unknown Incident

On August 27, 2020, the department confirmed that Devitt was under criminal investigation. The details were not disclosed due to a judge's order.[1][5]

Response Timeline

Devitt was placed on administrative leave.[1]

LEO Ratings

Training and Tactics rating: neutral
Protect & Serve rating: bad
Individual Rights rating: bad
Accountability and Integrity rating: bad
Off Duty rating: neutral
Ratings Definitions