In early June Daniel Gene Garcia, a 34-year-old resident of Birchwood Drive in Palm Coast,is a convicted felon three times sentenced to prison previously–for robbery, drugs and battery. His last prison stint ended in November 2012.
In June he was arrested by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on a pair of felony charges for grand theft and forgery, and held at the Flagler County jail on $3,000 bond. He was there until early July when his girlfriend and the mother of his 16-month-old son wrote a letter to Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, pleading with him to either reduce his bond or release Garcia on his own recognition, because his incarceration had left her and her son in dire straits.
“With only a part-time position at CVS, I have been struggling to pay for our son alone,” the 22-year-old woman wrote Walsh by hand, in careful script on lined paper. Garcia, she told him, had been working steadily as an electrician, where he could get his job back if the judge were to allow him to “return to work, return to our family, and return to his career.” The woman included her phone number and told the judge she could call him with any questions or concerns.
The letter was dated July 8. It reached the court on July 9. The same day, Walsh granted the request, reducing the bond, which was posted on Friday, according to court records.
Barely three days later—just after midnight this morning—Garcia was rearrested, this time on charges of battering his girlfriend (the woman who wrote the letter to the judge), battering his child, theft, grand theft auto, tampering with a witness and felony criminal mischief.
The incident unfolded at the house of a 31-year-old woman, a friend of Garcia’s and his girlfriend. The three were there, along with Garcia’s young child. They’d been drinking, according to Garcia’s arrest report. Then Garcia got in an argument with his girlfriend’s friend and allegedly started breaking things while holding his child before getting physically aggressive toward both women. They say he pushed them to the ground. He told police he only pushed them. H then took the car keys belonging to the mother of the friend they were visiting and, child in hand, drove off with the child.
The woman they were visiting was “covered in blood” when police spoke with her. She told police that her friend had brought Garcia over because she’d just bailed him out of jail and she wanted to introduce him to her. Later, she said, he lost control, kicked the television, broke a chandelier, threw things off the counter and got physical with them, all while his son was in his arm. He also allegedly prevented the woman from calling 911 by taking her cell phone from her.
Police documented the damage, which included a broken coffee table, a chandelier broken off the ceiling, a hole in a bedroom door, broken glass everywhere and a trail of blood from the living room to the driveway. The trail stopped in the middle of the driveway.
Police were put on notice for a gray 2010 Honda Accord, the vehicle belonging to the friend’s mother, which Garcia had driven off in. The local hospital was informed to be on the lookout for Garcia, should he show up there injured, and Garcia’s mother was contacted by police.
But it was the cell phone that Garcia had taken from the woman he was visiting that gave his whereabouts away: police pinged it, and located the car.
Garcia was asleep inside, with his son in his lap. The car was off. The child was “sweating profusely due to there being no air condition[ing],” the report states.
Garcia was ordered to unlock the car door and hand over the child, which he did. He had bruises on his left arm. He was taken to the hospital for clearance. He was “covered in blood” and had scrapes on his right arm, a cut on his right hand and knuckles, and a cut on his right-hand thumb. He told police he’d just been trying to leave the house but the two women kept holding him back, to he pushed them away. He also said he did not remember what had taken place.
Mother and child were meanwhile reunited by police at a gas station.
Bond was set at $4,500 on five of the seven charges. No bond was set on two charges. Garcia remains at the jail today.