Christopher J. Hobbie, a 26-year-old resident of Flagler Beach who had been in and out of jail twice since October on a domestic violence charge, was jailed again Saturday and faces a series of felony charges, including battery on a law enforcement officer, after police say they had to punch him and Tase him repeatedly to subdue him. He had allegedly been assaulting his mother when police entered his house.
The incident was a culmination of loosely related altercations involving Hobbie that had progressively become more violent.
Last October Hobbie was arrested on a felony battery charge of dating violence-strangulation, an incident involving his 29-year-old live-in girlfriend. Flagler Beach police officers found the woman at a house on North 5th Street with Hobbie after her ex-husband had called police to report that he’d been on the phone with her and had heard her in distress, screaming at someone to stop grabbing her. She alleged to officers that Hobbie had punched her, thrown her on the ground, kicked her and began to choke her. (His arrest reports noted bruising on the alleged victim.) The woman has a young child, but the child was not at the house at the time of the altercation.
The State Attorney did not file the felony charge, filing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge instead on Nov. 6. Hobbie was ordered to have no contact with his girlfriend. The case is still open, with a pre-trial set for January.
Last week he was arrested and held overnight at the county jail on a charge of violating his no-contact order with his girlfriend and stepmother. He’d sent his girlfriend–with whom he’s supposed to have no contact–texts to pick him up, and officers reported that she had taken him to his probation appointment.
On Friday night (Dec. 6), Flagler Beach police responded to the house on 5th Street, where Hobbie was having an altercation with his mother. The response did not lead to an arrest. But hours later, just after 1 a.m. that Saturday morning, they were dispatched to the residence again after the 911 center got a hangup from there. (All hang-ups are investigated.)
As an officer approached the door to the house, he could hear yelling inside between a man and a woman, and a man’s voice yell out: “You called the police on me. Really! I’m going to kill all you … in this house,” the man’s voice was heard saying, lacing the alleged threat with a particularly obscene slur. Officers walked in and allegedly found Hobbie on top of his mother.
A use-of-force report by one of the officers involved states that Hobbie had a broken hand “prior to officers arriving.”
Flagler Beach Police Officer Keith Jones described what followed next: “Hobbie was facing Officer [Evan] Scherr and was told to stop resisting. He began to tense and twist to evade being secured. Officer Scherr and I tried to redirect him to the ground and Hobbie became combative and aggressively physical with us. Several leg strikes and pressure points were attempted without compliance. He was told multiple times to stop resisting and Hobbie continued to push, punch and resist arrest.
“I took out my agency issued Electronic Control Device (ECD) and removed the cartridge due to being so close to the defendant. His hands were still underneath him and he was still actively trying to stand back up. I placed a drive stun to the left shoulder blade of his back but it was not successful in gaining compliance of the defendant. I punched the defendant in the face to gain compliance and tried additional pressure points to gain compliance with negative results. He continued to resist arrest and I instructed Officer Scherr to activate his ECD. Officer Scherr activated his ECO which struck him in the right shoulder blade of his back but the prongs were less than 4 inches apart and were not effective in gaining compliance.”
Finally, additional police units responded and Hobbie was secured. Flagler County Fire Rescue personnel removed the Taser probes from him.
The two officers’ use-of-force reports indicated Hobbie’s resistance level at “aggressive physical,” or at level 5 on a scale of 6, while their own was “active physical.” Scherr’s report indicates that a Taser was fired at three feet’s distance. Jones’s use-of-force report doesn’t provide a distance as the Taser was used as a stun-gun, with two cycles applied. (The use of force reports are available here and here.)
Jones reported pain to his right foot after the incident.
Hobbie’s girlfriend was present during the incident “but did not wish to cooperate with the investigation,” the report states.
Hobbie was taken to AdventHealth hospital to be checked out, then booked at the county jail on the felony charge of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, also a felony, and domestic battery, a misdemeanor. He was subsequently charged with a probation violation and tampering with a witness.
He’s being held on $120,000 bond.