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Sons charged in scuffle with deputies _ five months later

Two of John Thomas Brundage's sons were arrested Monday in connection with a fight with deputies last year that led to their father's death in the Pinellas County Jail.

Both Anthony Brundage, 24, and Ronnie L. Brundage, 22, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. They were arrested without incident at their home near Largo by sheriff's deputies serving warrants.

The brothers were taken to the Pinellas County Jail. Bail for Anthony was set at $10,000. Ronnie's bail was set at $50,000 because he was released from jail on bail last month after he was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence in a different incident in Clearwater.

The brothers admitted in September that they were involved in a fight with sheriff's deputies when their 52-year-old father was arrested in their front yard. The battery on law enforcement officer charges stem from that fight, said sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha.

The case was investigated by the Sheriff's Office, and all the reports were reviewed by the state attorney's office, before the warrants were issued, said sheriff's spokesman, Sgt. Greg Tita.

Tita said the lengthy review process was thereason charges weren't filed until more than five months after the incident.

That incident began about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 when deputies attempted to stop Brundage because the license tag on his truck was unreadable. They followed him to his home, and a struggle began.

Brundage was arrested, taken to Largo Medical Center and then to jail. He died 15 hours later in his cell.

An autopsy showed his death may have been caused by a tear in his intestine, but he might not have died if he had received proper medical treatment at the jail.

Two separate investigations have cleared the arresting deputies of any wrongdoing, bu the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the death and medical treatment provided at the jail.

The Brundage family held a news conference at their home the day after he died. At the time, Anthony and Ronnie Brundage said they intervened when deputies tried to arrest their father, but contended it was only to try to keep him from getting hurt.

The Brundage family could not be reached Monday for comment.

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