Bodycam video shows woman refusing to drop 12-inch knife, deputies say

Sheriff says video shows his deputies 'incredible restraint and professionalism'

PALM COAST, Fla. – Dramatic body camera footage shows a woman carrying a 12-inch kitchen knife and refusing to drop it despite deputies' demands, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said.

The graphic, more than 11-minute-long video was released Wednesday by the Sheriff's Office after deputies responded about 10:30 p.m. Monday to a domestic disturbance at a home on Beth Lane in Palm Coast. 

Deputies said they discovered that Melanie Botts, 36, had threatened her 61-year-old boyfriend with a 12-inch kitchen knife and that Botts' 11-year-old son was there when it happened.

The boyfriend told deputies that Botts had left, but then they found her in the backyard, holding the knife up to her neck, according to the Sheriff's Office. 

Deputies said Botts began an intense exchange with them, screaming profanities, demanding that they shoot her, encouraging a K-9 to bite her and refusing to drop the knife. 

After numerous attempts were made to get Botts to drop the knife, according to the Sheriff's Office, a sergeant deployed his agency-issued Taser, causing Botts to drop the knife and allowing deputies to detain her. 

“This is a tremendous example of the amazing men and women we have working here at the Flagler 
County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Our deputies showed incredible restraint and professionalism, and because of that, she is alive today. I hope she gets the help she needs. This story 
could have had a very different ending.”

Botts was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, resisting arrest without violence and violation of probation.

Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Melanie Botts
Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Melanie Botts

Due to suicidal statements and actions, according to deputies, Botts was also placed under a Baker Act. After she received medical attention and was cleared, she was taken to the Flagler County jail, where she's being held without bond, the Sheriff's Office said Wednesday. 

Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Resources for domestic violence victims are available throughout Northeast Florida:

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