Austin Flores, 22, repeatedly refused to comply with an FCSO sergeant's orders.
By: Brittany Kershaw
Public Affairs Manager, Flagler County Sheriff's Office
Flagler County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested 22-year-old Palm Coast resident Austin Flores outside the RaceTrac gas station on State Road 100 in the early morning hours of Feb. 14 after seeing him sitting in the backseat of a car with marijuana resting near his feet. When deputies approached him, Flores tried to hide a handgun.
“Our deputies never know what they may encounter, even on a routine security check. I continually remind them to think tactically and dress for survival. Guns, drugs and felons don’t mix.”
— RICK STALY, sheriff
The incident began at around 2:30 a.m., when an FCSO sergeant performing a security check at the gas station at 5893 E. S.R. 100 made contact with the driver of a Chevrolet Equinox in the parking lot. The driver was cooperative.
As they were speaking, the sergeant noticed a man sitting in the back passenger seat with marijuana in plain view near his feet.
The sergeant gave commands several times for the passenger to place his hands on the seat in front of him. The male, later identified as Flores, did not comply, and began stomping his feet repeatedly. The sergeant heard what sounded like metal drop inside the vehicle while Flores was stomping.
Flores soon exited the vehicle, and when the sergeant grabbed his wrist, Flores pulled away and continued to argue. Another sergeant arrived on scene and escorted Flores to the ground to handcuff him.
An inventory of the vehicle revealed a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun directly under the front passenger seat, consistent with the backseat passenger pushing it under the front seat.
Deputies also found 14 grams of marijuana scattered on the passenger floorboard and under the front seat in the area where Flores was seen stomping inside the vehicle.
“Thankfully no one was hurt during this interaction. This situation could have gone a lot differently,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Our deputies never know what they may encounter, even on a routine security check. I continually remind them to think tactically and dress for survival. Guns, drugs and felons don’t mix.”
Flores is a convicted felon since 2018 and is therefore not allowed to possess a firearm.
Flores was arrested and charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of Marijuana, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Resisting an Officer without Violence. He was booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility where he is being held without bond.
AXON body camera footage of the arrest can be viewed here (video contains profanity): https://youtu.be/oCijBAGfwOI.