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Palm Coast Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 2 years ago

Woman faces felony charges after resisting arrest and biting deputy

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The deputy fell ill after the bite and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
by: Guest Writer

By: Brittany Kershaw
Public Affairs Manager, Flagler County Sheriff's Office

A 38-year-old Palm Coast woman resisted arrest and bit a deputy after FCSO deputies responded to her Brookside Lane home for a domestic disturbance call on Jan. 17.

The suspect, Cherie Saunders, smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and smeared makeup when deputies arrived at the home.

They determined that she had struck a male resident of the house. She bit a deputy as he attempted to restrain her.

The deputy immediately felt ill and lost consciousness, and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Saunders is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and domestic violence.

Deputies who arrived at the home for the domestic violence call made contact with Saunders in the driveway. While they tried to resolve the situation, Saunders became extremely argumentative and would not cooperate with the investigation.

Saunders approached a deputy in a threatening manner, and began kicking and screaming when deputies attempted handcuff her.

During the struggle, Saunders bit one deputy on his right calf and refused to release her bite hold until another deputy was able to free her grip on his leg.

The bite resulted in a two-inch mark which showed broken skin, swelling and bruising.

Moments later, the deputy who was bitten began to feel ill and lost consciousness momentarily. He was transported to the hospital for a medical evaluation.

“Rather than let us handle the investigation in a civil manner, this woman actively fought our deputies and bit one deputy resulting in a trip to the hospital,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “If you attack my deputies you will not win and you will go to the Green Roof Inn facing serious charges. This is a prime example of how dangerous domestic violence calls are for our deputies to handle. Thankfully the deputy was not seriously injured by her actions.” 

Saunders was arrested. On the way to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility for booking, Saunders vomited in the patrol vehicle. It was determined that she would need to be medically cleared by the hospital prior to booking due to her level of intoxication. She was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond. 

Saunders was arrested previously in 2018 for resisting an officer without violence. 

Domestic disturbances are historically dangerous calls for law enforcement. In 2018, the FBI collected assault data from 11,788 law enforcement agencies that employed 546,247 officers. Those agencies reported that 58,866 officers were assaulted while performing their duties in 2018. 31 percent of these assaults were on officers responding to disturbance calls (https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2018/topic-pages/officers-assaulted.pdf).

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