Eight days ago Charles Cowart Jr., 30, was released from the Flagler County jail, where he’d spent six months on rape and kidnapping charges that were dropped. Cowart had spent several months in jail in late 2012 and 2013 on several charges stemming from a much-publicized incident that saw him riding a horse and eluding police through Bunnell.
Late Monday evening, Cowart was back at the Flagler County jail, charged with burglary.
A Flagler Beach police officer was dispatched to an address on North Central Avenue just before 10 p.m. Monday and told by the person who’d called 911 that a man had knocked on her door to inform her that someone had broken into the residence across the street. (The police report marks the address of the house broken into as 1353 North Central; it is, in fact, 1353 North Ocean Shore Boulevard.)
Two officers went to the residence. The front door was open. Inside, a man was sitting on the couch with dark blue paint on his hands and face, according to the arrest report. It was Cowart, whom police identified, the report states, “from previous dealings.”
“I observed that the front window of the residence was smashed out and in front of [Cowart] on a coffee table was a tire iron believed to have been used to smash out the front window of the residence,” the report states. Police also found a black trench jacket belonging to Cowart on the counter.
The 1,700-square-foot beach house actually belongs to the Cowart family –its registered owner is Patricia Cowart, according to the property appraiser’s records—and was one of the locations where Cowart and three friends or acquaintances had spent time with a woman on March 20, 2013, the night before Cowart and the trio took the woman to a Cowart hunting camp to spend the night. Flagler Beach police was called to that house that evening after reports of suspicious activity, but left without making arrests. It was that March 20-21 incident that led to a Flagler County Sheriff’s investigation into allegations that the woman had been kidnapped and raped—charges that the State Attorney decided not to pursue last week.
The night of the incident in March, Cowart was due at the beach house for a meeting. The house is tenanted by Joseph Mayo, a Cowart family friend who provided extensive witness testimony to the investigation into the March 20 incidents.
Flagler Beach police contacted Mayo, who was in New York, on Monday night to report finding Cowart in the house. “Mayo requested that Cowart be arrested for burglary of his residence,” the report states.” The bedroom in the southwest corner of the residence was also in disarray and the owner told me that it was not previous[ly] like that,” the arresting officer’s affidavit states.
Cowart, of 8185 West Highway 100 in Bunnell, was booked on a burglary charge and remained at the county jail Tuesday on $2,500 bond. Following his arrest in 2012 as a result of the horse-riding incident, Cowart’s father spoke candidly to media, saying his son had been dealing with a series of issues for a while, legal and personal. Cowart is a member of a long-established and prominent family in western Flagler County.