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On Old Haw Creek Road, a Confrontation So Hostile That a Cop Asks For It To Be Videotaped

| February 11, 2014

Stuart Denison, left, and Michael Testa.

Stuart Denison, left, and Michael Testa.

In the last seven months, Stuart Denison has been booked at the Flagler County jail five times, three of those times on domestic battery charges. That third time took place Sunday in what turned into such a harrowing and at times violent confrontation that the arresting officer asked that the arrest be videotaped to protect against potential legal action.

The incident started after 6 p.m. Sunday when Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy George Hristakopoulos, dispatched to Haw Creek Road regarding a domestic disturbance, found the victim 56-year-old woman, sitting on the side of a dirt road just north of her house, crying.

“He said he’d kill me if I called the police,” the victim told Hristakopoulos, who assured her she’d be protected. The victim told the cop that he didn’t know what sort of person he’d be dealing with in Denison. But the sheriff’s office and the Bunnell Police Department, which also got involved, knew about Denison well. “Deputy Meehan cautioned me that Stuart Denison is an extremely violent individual,” Hristakopoulos wrote in his report, citing Meehan’s familiarity with Denison at the jail. “Flagler County Dispatch also cautioned me that there was a long history of domestic violence.” The couple had been co-habitating for eight years

Earlier in the day, according to the report, Denison had gone to Bunnell to pick up some groceries. According to the victim, once he returned, he began arguing with her. The fight escalated. He allegedly broke a leg off a table and used it to smash items in the house. The victim feared for her life.

Deputies were joined by Bunnell Police Department officers (Hristakopoulos  had been a member of that department until last year) and made their way to the house, where the homeowner—not Denison—allowed law enforcement into the house then, after pointing our where Denison was, told them she’d be off to hide in her bedroom.

The cops entered the bedroom where Denison was hiding. It was in “complete disarray,” according to the report, with glass all over the floor. Hristakopoulos had seen some movement in the closet. All three cops called the suspect by his name and announced themselves as law enforcement. They ordered him to come out. He didn’t. One of the cops opened the closet door and ordered Denison to show his hands. Denison, according to the report, refused that and additional commands to show his hands.

“Due to the fact that we were uncertain if there were any weapons inside the residence, and the suspects violent history, I was concerned that if Mr. Denison was not apprehended in a swift manner, he may cause someone harm.,” Hristakopoulos reported. “At this time, I was close enough to grab the suspect (still hiding in the closet) by his left hand. I tactically placed Mr. Denison on the floor of the cluttered bedroom, and attempted to place him in handcuffs, which he resisted. With the assistance of Deputy Duenas, I was able to secure Mr. Dennison in handcuffs after a short struggle. I observed that Mr. Denison was bleeding from his arm, and I notified dispatch that Mr. Denison was combative, and that he needed a medical unit to be en route.”

The report does not make clear whether Denison had been bleeding before the confrontation or as a result of it, or whether he had been injured from being taken to the ground, which was covered in glass. He continued to be combative, the report states, but did not strike any of the cops.

Denison then “began to threaten me and other personnel on scene,” Hristakopoulos reports, and he refused medical attention. Denison said he would kill anyone who touched him. “At this point I asked Cpl. Miller to videotape the situation, which he did>’ Hristakopoulos reports. “Mr. Denison then intentionally struck his head onto the trunk of my patrol vehicle (4644) causing some damage to the vehicle.” Once in Hristakopoulos’s patrol vehicle, Denison “repeatedly threatened to kill, among others, me, my family, the President, etc. I began audio taping the drive from Old Haw Creek Road to the [jail] in order to document Mr. Denison’s demeanor and any threats.”

Denison was booked at the jail and charged with criminal mischief, assault-domestic violence, and resisting arrest, then taken to a Stewart-Marchmann Act facility under the Baker Act. As of Tuesday, he remained at the county jail on $1,000 bond.

In an unrelated incident, Michael Testa, the 23-year-old Bunnell resident who’s been arrested eight times since 2010 on charges including burglary, dealing in stolen property, defrauding a pawnbroker, forgery, escape, probation violation and grand theft of a firearm, was again arrested Monday on a domestic battery charge. (See some background of Testa’s previous history here.)

Cops were called to a North Daytona Avenue address in Flagler Beach Monday morning when a neighbor said that Testa and his girlfriend were “kicking the shit out of each other upstairs.” When copes entered the residence, both Testa and his girlfriend were yelling at each other, according to Testa’s latest arrest report. According to oen witness, Testa wanted his girlfriend to drive him around, but she would not. According to another, Testa’s girlfriend was demanding her debit card from him.

Testa told cops that it was a combination of the two issues–he wanted his girlfriend to drive him, she refused, he took her debit card, but then gave it back to her. Both denied that the altercation had been violent, and Testa’s girlfriend was not interested in pursuing charges or sign for a domestic violence packet. Two young children–one is the couple’s son, the other lives with the couple–were “across the street from the residence when the disturbance occurred,” according to the report.

The Department of Children and Families was contacted. Testa was arrested and remained at the jail on Tuesday.

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10 Responses for “On Old Haw Creek Road, a Confrontation So Hostile That a Cop Asks For It To Be Videotaped”

  1. confidential says:

    My heart goes out to our Sheriff Deputies and the Bunnell Police officers that went to help risking their lives daily. What is happening with our court system in Flagler County? How come these two dangerous individuals are let go by the judges all the time? How many times are they allowed to break the law? I hear too often that there is no room in the prisons to keep them incarcerated…! This is ridiculous…as we pay plenty of taxes day in and day out and what they need to do is give us the services we pay for other than wasting the tax revenues policing the world and, subsidizing the wars, the multinational oil and other mega rich corporations and individuals. What is being uncovered in NJ now is taking place allover this nation as we have in our own counties and home towns our very own GW Bridges and missing Sandy funds. Use the taxes that we pay to provide more prison room for crooks and preserve our law abiding citizens safety.

  2. Anonymous says:

    First of all, $1,000 bond in the Denison case–ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? This man is obviously a ticking time bomb with a long history of criminal violence. The bond amounts in this town seem to have no rhyme or reason whatsoever. As for the Testa case, the ones I really feel sorry for are those children. It’s bad enough that their own child has to suffer the fate of having parents such as these–What kind of idiot would voluntarily leave their child in the care of these people? I hope DCF does a serious job of monitoring this case CLOSELY.

    • Embarrassed Daughter says:

      “First of all, $1,000 bond in the Denison case–ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? This man is obviously a ticking time bomb”

      I agree 110%. He needs to just stay in jail where he belongs.


    I dealt with Officer Hristakopoulos early last year while he was still with the Bunnell PD. I was the complainant in an issue, and turned over some evidence to him. He seemed like a reasonable person and I would tend to believe his story about the arrest, even without video, because of my experience with him.

    It’s a shame he felt he had to video the arrest, but fully understandable in this day and age.

  4. A.S.F. says:

    Why does the story in the Palm Coast Observer state that Mr. Denison was charged with Resisting Arrest WITHOUT (my italics) Violence?

  5. confidential says:

    To all our law enforcement dedicated deputies and officers on the street patrols….please be very cautious approaching suspects. Do not over risk yourselves I jury or your lives over a robbery with these crooks look what happened in Orange County:
    With this bad economy crime is on the rise and you also have family waiting for you to get back home every day. God may protect you all.

  6. Reaganomicon says:

    I’m more concerned about the fact that interactions between the police and the public aren’t being videoed by default.

  7. mary hawkins says:

    Individuals that display that type of behavior will continue, it’s sad to say but it will take a serious offense like murder before he is stopped for good.

  8. Charles Gardner says:

    One would think that if Denison threatened the life of the President he would be turned over to Federal authorities. Released on $1,000 bond?

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