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Palm Coast Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 2 years ago

Woman jumps into Intracoastal with a purse full of drugs and cash to escape deputies

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It didn't work.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A 25-year-old woman jumped into the Intracoastal Waterway and swam to the other side Wednesday morning to escape deputies investigating a possible burglary. It didn't work.

The young woman, 25-year-old Nichole Leah Headley, was met by deputies when she emerged on the waterway's east side. She pulled the stunt just days after news broke that another Florida burglary suspect seeking aquatic refuge from police was killed by an alligator in a Brevard County lake.

Headley, a Palm Coast resident, was known to local cops: She'd been repeatedly arrested for driving on a suspended license. 

The incident on Wednesday, Dec. 9, began with Headley searching for a lighter. Or at least, that's what she told the resident of 47 N. Waterview Drive she was doing when he caught her rummaging through the summer kitchen on his screened-in lanai.

The resident, a 63-year-old man, told her to get off his property. Someone called the Sheriff's Office.

When deputies arrived at about 8:20 a.m., a local resident pointed to the young woman, who was standing near the front door of a home on the west side of the Intracoastal.

Headley saw deputies approaching, according to an arrest report. She ran around the side of the house, then down a boat dock in the back yard, and jumped into the water.

While swimming east across the waterway, she told the deputies she didn't want to talk to them because she was on probation.

A deputy radioed for other deputies to stop her where she emerged on the waterway's east side. Two deputies who saw her come out of the water shouted at her to stop, but she ran away instead. The deputies ran after her and caught her in a vacant lot at 28 Island Estates Parkway. She "appeared to be very intoxicated," according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

A neighbor who spoke to a deputy after Headley was arrested told the deputy that Headley had said she'd slept out on the lanai at 47 Waterview Drive the previous night. 

Deputies searched Headley and found four and a half Xanax pills, four Roxycodone pills, a small amount of crack cocaine and a crack stem and $1,963 in cash in her purse, which she "had possession of during the whole incident," according to the arrest report. 

As deputies secured her, she said, "All of my money better be there. I know you cops are crooked." She banged her head against the partition inside the police cruiser and "voiced her negative opinion of law enforcement to all the deputies on the scene," according to the report, then "verbally assaulted" staff at Florida Hospital Flagler before she was cleared to be taken to the county jail.

Headley has been charged with burglary, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence, according to county jail records.

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