Separate Incidents Land 2 in Jail on Assault Charges for Targeting Cops and Landscaper
FlaglerLive | June 27, 2016
Michael Holland is the 33-year-old owner of a Palm Coast lawn service that bears his name. He had just finished cutting the grass at a property on Piermount Lane Friday. He was sitting in his truck with one co-worker, waiting for another to finish when someone approached his truck on the driver’s side and punched him with a closed fist.
According to Holland’s account to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the alleged assailant was Jay McCarthy, a 35-year-old resident of Faircastle Lane in Palm Coast. McCarthy had once worked for Holland, but Holland had fired him, he told police.
Holland then exited the truck “in an attempt to get away from” McCarthy, Holland told deputies, only for McCarthy allegedly to try to strike him again as Holland put up his right arm to block the strike. Holland said he then ran away again, but that McCarthy continued to follow him around the truck several times, trying to entice him into a fight. By then Holland said his arm was bleeding, though he didn’t see anything in McCarthy’s hand that could have caused the laceration.
Finally Holland told McCarthy that if he didn’t stop he’d grab a weed-eater from the truck—which he did, prompting McCarthy allegedly to grab a wooden club from the vehicle and advance toward Holland as if to strike him. But someone on Piermount Lane intervened, telling McCarthy to stop. McCarthy’s arrest report states that that prompted McCarthy to leave.
Holland went to Florida Hospital Flagler and got 12 stitches for the cut to his arm, which he unwrapped for the deputy to examine—to verify the story. The deputy noted a 3-inch laceration. The lawn service employee who’d been sitting in the truck with Holland at the time of the incident gave the deputy the same account of the incident.
Holland informed the deputy that McCarthy works at Ruby Tuesday, the restaurant off Palm Coast Parkway, where the deputy proceeded. But McCarthy, invoking his rights, said he would not speak absent an attorney. The deputy told him he was not under arrest, that he wanted to hear McCarthy’s side of the story. The deputy told McCarthy that “if he did not want to speak with me about the incident, I would have to make my decision based off of the statements provided by the victim and witness.” McCarthy said he still did not want to speak without an attorney present.
He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and battery, and booked at the Flagler County jail. He posted $8,500 bond and was released. McCarthy had one arrest in Flagler in 2003, on a battery charge. He pleaded no contest and was placed on probation. Adjudication was withheld.
In a separate, unrelated case later that evening, Amber Fugit, a 22-year-old resident of Lindberg Place who’s been arrested four times on minor charges in the past five years, was arrested again on the most serious charges yet, including three felony counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, domestic violence assault and disorderly intoxication.
The arrest stemmed from an incident late Friday night following Fugit’s return home after an argument with her boyfriend. Fugit’s mother said her daughter came home very upset . Fugit went about the house yelling and shouting at her mother, accusing her of losing her $60 and telling her to find it or, according to her arrest report, she would kill her. Fugit’s mother was in fear for herself as well as for Fugit’s two young children, a 2-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy. They were present at the time of the incident.
When Fugit spoke to deputies, she told them that her boyfriend had allegedly stolen her $60, then got angry and kicked her in the head 10 times. The boyfriend would later tell deputies that after he told her he did not have the money, she took a club and struck his vehicle with it, but that the two of them did not have a physical altercation.
Deputies described Fugit as acting “fidgety,” “acting strange” being “very talkative” and grabbing at her dress constantly. They were told by her mother that she was taking amphetamines. The deputies handcuffed her as they discussed among themselves whether she fit the criteria for a Baker Act, meaning involuntary commitment to a psychiatric ward for observation—if she was a threat to herself or others.
But as the deputies were hauling her to a patrol car—they had grabbed her from under her armpits—she became combative, in their account, kicking at the deputies and screaming that they were beating her. They took her to the ground to restrain her. Fire rescue personnel was summoned to check on her. She was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler, then booked at the Flagler County jail on the various charges. She remained there Monday evening on $9,500 bond.