Armed Woman Detained After Tense Encounter With Cops at European Village Bar
FlaglerLive | May 13, 2016
An armed 47-year-old woman who’d threatened to kill herself at Cork and Pint Bar, at European Village, was in a brief, tense standoff with Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday night before she was detained and Baker Acted. She had been carrying a loaded .38-caliber gun with hollow-point bullets.
The incident took place around 9 p.m. after the woman had told a friend by text and phone that she had a gun in her purse and intended to kill herself: she had taken the gun out and showed her friend when she saw her at the bar. The weapon belonged to her boyfriend, with whom she’d had a fight. The woman, who had been drinking at the bar, had a history of suicide attempts, according to her friend, and had attempted to kill herself two weeks earlier, with pills. The friend called the cops, who then reported to the bar.
A deputy who’d been provided with a description of the armed woman confirmed her presence with the Cork and Pint Bar bartender. The woman was sitting just outside the front door, at a table to the right, near the Trademark Realty office. There were several other patrons at the establishment.
The female was sitting at a table, using her cell phone. She had a large purse directly in her lap, according to an incident report, and an open beer in front of her on the table. When the cop, after making contact with her, asked her if she had a gun in her purse, she said no. She then placed her left hand on top of the purse near the opening.
“I immediately attempted to restrict her movement by placing my hand on the purse to prevent her from opening it,” the deputy reported, “then attempted to remove the purse from her lap due to the specific suicidal threats made and there was a firearm inside of it. She tried to prevent me from removing the purse. I was then able to remove the purse from her possession and place it on a nearby table away from her reach. I then told the female to stand up as I was unsure if the female may have the firearm on her person.”
The deputy was intending to pat the woman down and place her in handcuffs. She refused to comply. “As I stood her up I informed her that I was placing her under the Baker Act,” which gives police authority to detain an individual against his or her will, and commit the person to a psychiatric unit for evaluation, if the person is determined to be a threat to self or others. The deputy was able to place the woman in handcuffs after a brief struggle.
Another deputy located located a silver Smith & Wesson .38 caliber 5-shot revolver in her purse, loaded with five live rounds of hollow point ammunition, according to the report. It was not in any type of holster or pouch. The woman did not have a concealed weapons permit.
The woman’s boyfriend was later contacted and informed of the firearm incident. He confirmed, according to the report, that his girlfriend had stolen the firearm, but he did not intend to pursue charges.