Cherie M. Saunders, a 38-year-old resident of Brookside Lane in Palm Coast, is in jail, facing two felony charges for violently resisting law enforcement and biting a sheriff’s deputy so hard and so long that he subsequently fainted.
Deputies had responded to the house regarding a suspected domestic assault. Saunders, who had been drinking, was accused of slapping the 21-year-old son of her boyfriend, with an 11-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl in the house.
By the time deputies arrived at the house, the 21-year-old man and his father had left the scene to get away from Saunders: the 21 year old said he no longer wanted to cooperate with the investigation. But the 6-year-old girl–Saunders’s daughter–was still there.
“After finding out there was in fact a child supposedly on scene, I attempted to conduct a welfare check on the child’s well-being,” one of the responding deputies wrote in his arrest report of Saunders. He knocked and for 15 minutes got no response, but Saunders then opened the garage door. She was sitting deep in the garage on a weight bench. At first she was welcoming, according to the report, allowing deputies to step inside. But when they asked about her daughter, she allegedly became argumentative and changed demeanor entirely.
An unsettling video issued by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office captures five minutes of the encounter from that moment on, as Saunders is sitting in her garage, telling deputies in a ceaseless string of expletives to get off her property. At that moment the deputies are just outside the garage door. She then gets up and tries to close the garage door, whose mechanism appeared to have been impeded by a deputy tripping a sensor at the door frame. The deputies meanwhile, using normal tones, urge Saunders to “come talk to us.” (See the video below.)As she notices that the door won’t come down, she walks toward the deputies and tells one of them to move his foot, though without stopping, she then aggressively gets in his face. “You want to fucking play this shit?” Another deputy grabs her arm, and the scuffle between her and two deputies unfolds as she yells between expletives that she didn’t touch the deputy. The deputies struggle to get control of her flailing limbs as they tell her to calm down, “chill out” and stop resisting. She continues to flail and scream (“I didn’t do anything… you came on my goddamn property”). A deputy asks another if she’d bitten him, but they continue to secure her in handcuffs.
Once her wrists had been secured a couple of the deputies stand back as she is on the ground, but she flails and appears to be kicking one with her legs, prompting the deputies to again seek to bring her under control. As they are attempting to lift her off the ground, she clenches her mouth on the deputy’s calf and literally growls as she bites him, refusing to let go. The deputy is audibly in pain as another deputy tries to un-clench her from him. After Saunders is removed from the garage, the deputy is heard saying he’s feeling faint, and did, according to the sheriff’s office, lose consciousness briefly. He was taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast and released. Sheriff Rick Staly said he was not seriously injured, but the bite “resulted in a two-inch mark which immediately showed broken skin, swelling, and bruising,” according to a sheriff’s release.
Saunders faces a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge regarding the alleged slapping of the 21 year old. She faces felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting with violence. She vomited in the patrol vehicle on the way to the county jail, so was then taken to the hospital as well for clearance before being booked at the jail on $5,000 bond. She’d been arrested on a resisting charge (without violence) in 2018, in an incident that mirrored some of Saunders’s demeanor on Friday, but with less violence (the incident took place near a bar in Flagler Beach, and she was intoxicated, according to that report.) That charge was dropped. She was accused of domestic battery the same year, against her husband at the time, but that charge was also dropped.
“Rather than let us handle the investigation in a civil manner, this woman actively fought our deputies and bit one deputy resulting in a trip to the hospital,” Staly said. He said the only thing suspects will win if they battle deputies is a trip to the jail, facing serious charges. “This is a prime example of how dangerous domestic violence calls are for our deputies to handle. Thankfully the deputy was not seriously injured by her actions.” The sheriff’s release included FBI data on assaults on law enforcement in 2018, when there were 58,866 such reports, 31 percent of them while officers were responding to disturbance calls–a fate of 10.8 per 100 officers–with a third of those assaulted sustaining injuries. See the tally sheet here.
Keep Flagler Beautiful says
If a dog had done this, another officer would have shot it dead immediately. This vile woman is very lucky she’s still around to contemplate her disgusting actions. I hope the judge will throw the book at her. No law enforcement officer should have to endure this sort of thing. I’m sure a defense is already being prepared: bad childhood, abuser of drugs or alcohol or whatever. It’s all been heard before. Bottom line: she won’t get away with it, and I hope she gets THE MAX.
Name (required) says
Keep Flagler beautiful? Seriously. This place along with your types have been downgrading this area HARD for all least the last 10 years. Quit holding on to the false perception that this place isn’t a haven for ingrates these days. Stop. Be productive and help keep this garbage outta here. Proactive is better than re-active. Sorry, but…
Percy's mother says
1. Quite a few houses on Brookside Lane are rental properties. Do we know if the Brookside Lane property mentioned in this news article is a rental property? Just wondering. . .
2. No wonder there are behavioral and discipline issues in the schools. Children witness the type of behavior and language the woman in this story exhibited, and they grow up thinking this is “normal” behavior, and so they mirror this language and behavior thinking its the way to deal with things in life, not knowing that its socially unacceptable behavior.
3. What a helluva role model for any child or adult. She should be ashamed.
It is in fact a rental, all you have to do is look on the property appraiser’s website. (Duh) Second, what does being a rental have to do with anything? She could own the home and this would’ve still happened. It’s a nice area and just because someone rents a home versus owning it doesn’t mean crap! You sit behind a computer and throw judgement. Are you perfect? I’m guessing NOT
Name (required) says
The point is, renters don’t have as much invested into their community and neighborhoods, as much as homeowners who invest in their homes, equity, neighborhoods, etc. yes. The transient renters are a plague in this town. Not all, but some are ruining public opinion of what renters “offer.” The whole town is rented homes of the first generation of residents that retired here. Sadly, it’s a fact that they died and there are Many transient and unqualified (with poor backgrounds) renters here. Just a simple fact of this area. Tone deaf if you don’t see it. Relax. Homeowners have a right to protect their neighborhoods from scumbags. FACT. And they will.
WTF Just when you think it cant get any weirder. DV an epidemic. Alcohol brings out the worst in human nature. SMH
What a time to be white in America !! Meanwhile if a black personals or female blinked too hard they would have been shot & it would’ve been justified .
The Land of No Blinkers says
The people in this town just never cease to amaze me. So here we go again, yet another new episode of ‘As the Stomach Turns’.
… and the name of the town where nobody ever over-drinks is?
why do some people love to bash Palm Coast?
Mary Fusco says
Palm Coast is attempting to sell itself as an “upscale” city. After all, you can’t have a business truck in the driveway because it is an eyesore. Can’t park in a swale or leave a garbage pail out too long but this crap is supposed to be tolerated? No problem with over drinking but, stay in your living room and pass out instead of acting like a mad dog. Sadly, PC seems to draw these type of people. I’ve been here 20 years and the change has been drastic. Only time will tell. It always amazes me that people cry that the rents are too high but seem to have money for alcohol and cigarettes and drugs. I’m not bashing PC. I love it here but………
It saddens me to see this video posted online. Does everything have to be posted?
I guess in a generation where most people are looking for ratings and popularity they don’t really care what they post and who it affects.
I know Cherie. She is a good, caring and loving mother. She’s been going through some hard times. This is not who she is. This was a bad moment caught on camera. Don’t judge her, but do pray for her.
OUR TOWN says
I agree. This video should never been posted. It’s a shame what our city is becoming. The officer ha no right to attack the they way they did. There are other ways to restrain a person.. this was violent!!! Right or wrong … get more training OFFICERS!!!
Steve Vanne says
Why not tase and be done with it.
The family left the six year old alone with this violent woman? I hope that CPS has been notified. The entire family sounds too dysfunctional to safely care for a minor child.
Good luck with that. The only way cps steps in and does possibly anything is if the child is grossly physically neglected Such a messed up system!
Got to love body cams! If alcohol had this type of affect on me, I would stay clear of it for sure.
I retired from a Miami-Dade County agency over 10 years ago. I never in my wildest dreams had to worry about being bit by someone like a wild animal. Those things didn’t happen in Miami; and if they did, at least we were
making 100k, and had good workmen’s comp to cover our injuries. I feel for our brothers and sisters in Flagler County, making 30k and doing the same job as their counterparts down south. The citizens should know that they are doing the same job as their counterparts in Miami and making 50k less and deserve our best wishes and appreciation.
Beach Guy says
That’s gonna be some hangover, huh?
If that would’ve been me, i would have been leaving on a stretcher. They would have beat the brakes off me!!!!! If not worse.
Farley Fitzpatrick says
Amazing restraint by the officers. Those are some well trained deputies. She may not have fared as well in other municipalities. Very professional and glad they’re watching out for us.
Wow. Speechless. As a former resident of brookeside lane, it pains me to see this. I have actually met this lady before and she’s been very pleasant. This whole encounter was so sad and shouldn’t have escalated to this but we sometimes…..make that most times, overlook the effects of alcohol on the brain. I hope and pray the officer is ok, and I hope the lady gets help . So sad!