Woman accused of biting Flagler County deputy during arrest

Left photo: Injury to deputy’s leg/
Right photo: Booking photo of Cherie Saunders
Left photo: Injury to deputy’s leg/ Right photo: Booking photo of Cherie Saunders (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Flagler County deputy who encountered an apparently intoxicated woman during a domestic disturbance call Friday in Palm Coast came away with an unwanted souvenir: a human bite mark.

Deputies made contact with Cherie Saunders, 38, in the driveway of her home on Brookside Lane. They said she had smeared makeup, slurred speech and a heavy scent of alcohol coming from her.

Flagler County deputies were told that Saunders had slapped a man inside the home and, while they were attempting to resolve the situation, she became extremely argumentative and would not cooperate. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Saunders approached a deputy in a threatening manner and began kicking and screaming when deputies attempted to secure her in handcuffs. During the struggle, according to the Sheriff’s Office, one deputy was bitten on the calf by Saunders and she 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 immediately 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 and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, domestic battery and resisting an officer with violence. On the way to jail, Saunders vomited in the patrol car and it was determined that she would need to be medically cleared by the hospital prior to booking due to her level of intoxication.

Saunders was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

Domestic disturbances are historically dangerous calls for law enforcement to respond to. 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, and 31% of these assaults were on officers responding to disturbance calls.

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