Saturday night, residents of Palm Coast’s E-Section got an unnerving, automated alert on their phones. “It’s always fun getting a text telling you a fugitive with a gun is loose on your block,” one resident wrote, alerting friends on Facebook.
It would be 60 mninutes between the time the incident was reported and the time Larry Briggene Batson, a 41-year-old resident of 31 Ebb Tide Drive in Palm Coast, was arrested. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly misinterpreted UCT time as local time, and placed the arrest at 3:27 instead of 11:27 p.m.)
Earlier that evening, Batson had allegedly pulled a gun on his wife because she would not turn the car around so he could go fetch his dog.
It started over Batson getting his vehicle stuck somewhere in Espanola. He and his 49-year-old wife argued over it, then agreed that she would drive him to his sister’s house for the night. They got in the car, along with Batson’s 22-year-old son, and started driving, with his wife at the wheel. As they approached East Hampton Drive, Batson said he wanted his dog and demanded that his wife turn the car around. She refused. He allegedly “removed a black Sig Sauer handgun from his waistband and began to point it” at both his wife and son, according to his arrest report.
“You wanna die?” Batson allegedly told his wife and son as he pointed the gun at them.
The 22-year-old son was armed with a gun himself, and would later tell sheriff’s deputies that he thought he’d have to shoot his own father to protect himself and his mother. But somehow the gun Batson was holding fell. His wife grabbed it and threw it out the car window. Batson jumped out. She drove off and called 911. She was able to see her husband pick up the gun from where she’d dropped it.
The sheriff’s office established a perimeter around the neighborhood, sent out the alert to E-Section residents, requested that Volusia County’s Air One assist in the search, and deployed a K-9 unit. Air One is equipped with a night-vision camera that allows its crew to see the sharp white outline of warm bodies at night, outside of structures.
An anonymous caller to 911 reported seeing a shadowy figure run behind a house on Emmons Lane, which led Air One to spot Batson. By then, it was 3:23 a.m.
“We’ve got someone running with jeans and no shirt, running south on Emerson Drive,” a crew member radios deputies on the ground. The video from Air One, released by the sheriff’s office, shows the man curving around Emerson Drive on foot, fast, before he stops and walks into the woods, and crouches down. Deputies are not far. They had found the firearm under a log earlier, on Eagle Place. A bullet was in the chamber. “Yeah, that’s the gun he was waving around,” his son told deputies.
“Sheriff’s Office K-9, come on out or you’re going to get bit,” the deputy leading the K-9 yells out as he approaches Batson’s position at 11:26 p.m. Moments later, Batson walks back out and sprawls on the road, his arms extended in surrender as deputies yell out orders for him to get on the ground and not move.
“We’ve got contact at gunpoint,” a deputy is heard saying over the radio.
As the deputies place the handcuffs on him, they ask his name, he answers, then ask if he’s hurt, and explain to him every move they make. About 16 minutes later, as he’s being placed in the patrol car (the video does not include footage of the time in between), Batson says something about the handcuffs being tight, then says “Jesus” a couple of times. His arrest report states that Batson denied having possession of the gun in the car, though he acknowledged grabbing it when he ran out to get his dog. He said he took the gun that his wife threw out because he feared she was going to run him over.
Batson had “ample opportunity to turn himself in to law enforcement,” the arresting deputy reported, “or flag a deputy down to inform us of the disturbance and refused to do so. Thus utilizing valuable resources for the investigation, which could have been avoided if he had not resisted.”
His wife and son declined to pursue charges.
On his way to the Flagler County jail, Batson told a deputy he just wanted to die, and that he should have let the dog kill him. He was charged with two counts of domestic violence aggravated assault (third-degree felonies), carrying a concealed firearm, and resisting an officer without violence. He was booked on $10,000 bond.
I’m an animal lover more than a human one, so I will take the fifth on what I really think about all this.
Mike Cocchiola says
And yet there are those among us that would turn Flagler County a sanctuary for gun lovers. Imagine someone pulling a gun on you because you bumped their car with a shopping cart. Imagine shootouts in the CVS because of someone cutting into a line. This is Flagler County, not the 1980’s Tombstone.
CB from PC says
This guy has had previous run-ins with the law.
No CWP. Exactly the reason every law-abiding citizen needs to be armed. BTW, how is this unarmed citizen policy working out in places like NYC?
Youre right CB, these liberals just dont get it. They just love for something like this to happen so they can jump on their bandwagon. There is no way that this guy is a member of the NRA or a gunclub , as I said in my other comment this guy doesnt deserve to own a gun. To make an anti gun statement about this like cochhiola did is equivalent to saying all blacks are bad because this guy is black or all arabs are bad because of 9/11 or all homosexuals are bad because of aids.And what is 1980’s tombstone?
Trailer Bob says
I think you are overreacting a little bit. “Sanctuary for gun lovers”? To put the problem on a pistol, instead of the disturbed man who apparently has some mental issues does not make sense. If you know how many of us have pistols for sport and protection you would be surprised. There will always be people with unstable thought processes, and there are many, many different tools that they could use to cause harm to others. This man was wrong and apparently has issues mentally. How about this one: why is it so difficult to get someone help who is mentally ill when it is needed. Too many liberal laws protect people who should not own a gun perhaps. There are thousands of mature and decent people like myself who own guns for sport, protection of our families. What should be done is that it should be easier to call out abuse before it gets to the point it did in this incidence. This is NOT a “sanctuary city” for guns…it is a federal right as part of the second amendment. More people have died in Flagler County from automobile accidents that gunshot wounds as far back as I can remember. Hubby has a problem and needs physiatric help, the gun did nothing.
this is the type of schmuck that should never ,ever , be allowed to possess a firearm and maybe get some counseling while he is in jail, if our lovely judicial system puts him in jail.
I don’t care if his wife and son refused to press charges. This man is a time bomb and he might not necessarily explode just on them. He should be charged regardless of what his family decides to do and the court should put him where he belongs–in jail.
…Also, all firearms should be removed from his possession–at least while the case is active.
Daniel Coughlin says
The FCSO did a great job,eye’s in the sky by the helicopters is an excellent way of helping in situations like this. Glad he was apprehended because this could’ve turned into a bad situation and happy it ended The way it did without any injuries to the suspect or the First First responders or the family involved. It goes to show you can run but you cannot hide from the law. Sheriff Rick Staly has an Excellent Trained Staff of Deputies.
Is this the same Larry Batson who was charged with intentionally driving into another car in 2017, causing injuries…and was subsequently Baker-acted?
If so, why does he have access to firearms? And why don’t family members residing with him lock up their firearms so he can’t get his hands on them?
I think it’s great that Larry was able to network with our own local Flagler County Deputies, to meet them one on one and see what they do on a daily basis. His gregarious behavior, described here, tells me that he is probably a lot of fun to be around. His interaction with his son, also described here, lends testimony to his family values and parenting skills. It’s quite obvious Larry has a lot that he brings to the neighborhood. I believe that we should all support Larry and get him home ASAP! Go get em’ Larry,! You’re killin’ it!