Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy Benjamin Stamps and other deputies on Sunday morning had a perilous encounter with a seemingly suicidal individual who would have normally been Baker Acted, but ended up facing numerous charges for allegedly assaulting the officers as he sought to be shot by the deputies. Stamps’s Taser twice failed to stop the individual in the encounter, but eventually brought the situation under control with two other deputies.
Deputies were called to 16 Commander Court Sunday morning around 10 a.m. A verbal disturbance had evolved into a fight involving Kevin Raby, a 43-year-old resident at that address who has a history of mental illness. He’d been reported to have gone without sleep for five days. As soon as Stamps arrived, Raby approached him rapidly, prompting Stamps to order him loudly to stay back.
“You know who I am,” Raby said as he continued to approach, according to his arrest report. Raby is a convicted felon, from a 2009 conviction for cocaine possession, after he failed out of drug court. He’s had other, more minor arrests, though the majority of his encounters with law enforcement, and there have been many, were through traffic stops.
Raby, who did not appear to be armed, told Stamps several times to shoot him. “I gave several more loud verbal commands and attempted to put distance between myself and Kevin while he continued to close the distance between us,” Stamps reported. “I then drew my Taser model X2 and again told Kevin to stay back. Kevin continued his march towards me, telling me to shoot him, and after many loud verbal commands that were ignored I deployed my Taser, which proved ineffective. Kevin then began to charge towards me in an aggressive manner. Upon realization of my Taser cartridge having no effect I deployed my second cartridge which also had no effect.”
The deputy at that point wrestled Raby to the ground, positioning himself on top of him. His body camera fell off. He ordered Raby to “get off my gun,” as Raby’s hands were free, “and he was attempting to free items from the right side of my duty belt where my agency issued Glock 22 is located. Kevin was thereby attempting to deprive me of my means of defending myself,” the deputy reported. Raby managed to remove the deputy’s ASP expandable baton from its holster on his right hip, and the deputy was unable to restrain him.
“However, I removed my ASP from his possession as we rose from the ground,” the deputy reported. “I continued giving Kevin loud verbal commands to get on the ground and stay back, which he ignored. Kevin retrieved my Axon bodycam and personal cell phone from the road and feigned several attacks on my person with the devices.”
As Raby continued to advance toward the deputy, in the deputy’s account, “I delivered approximately three strikes to Kevin’s left outer thigh area with my ASP. All of which proved ineffective as Kevin continued to advance towards me.”
At that point Raby told the deputy that he was Jesus Christ, and that the deputy was going to die–a situation eerily reminiscent in some ways of a situation almost exactly eight years ago, when deputies responded to a call on Brownstone Lane where a man with mental health issues was said to be walking the street with a Bible in one hand and a machete in the other.
The man’s family had initiated the call, requesting what would have been a Baker Act, or the involuntary commitment in a psychiatric facility for evaluation and observation.
of an individual who may be harming himself or others. Two deputies eventually shot and killed the man, 32-year-old Troy Gordon, in his garage–the last incident involving a deputy-involved fatality in Flagler County. (The family long disputed the sheriff’s office’s account of the incident or that the killing was justified, though it never followed through with a lawsuit and an FDLE investigation cleared the agency.)
Two deputies arrived at the scene, including deputy Brandon Fiveash–who was one of the two deputies involved in the shooting eight years ago, though Fiveash only fired his Taser (successfully), not his gun. They also wrestled Raby to the ground, and he “received several more drive stuns from Tasers that were ineffective in gaining compliance,” Stamps reported. He was finally secured in handcuffs and placed in back of a patrol vehicle before being taken to the Flagler County jail by way of AdventHealth Palm Coast, for medical clearance.
Raby’s 69-year-old mother was present throughout the encounter, Stamps reported, “attempting to get Kevin to stop his violent actions.” She wrote in a statement that her son suffers from bipolar disorder and that he’d been “acting crazy” after lack of sleep for so many days. “She witnessed Kevin charge the deputy on scene and would not give up,” the arrest report states. Another witness from a neighboring house wrote in a statement of seeing Raby attack the officer and getting struck in return, though he was “unresponsive to strikes to his legs from the officer’s baton.” Yet another witness reported looking out his window and seeing a man fight with a deputy, and that “once off the ground the man continued to yell and swing at the officer until more deputies arrived on scene.”
Raby faces charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest with violence, all felonies. He remains at the county jail on $17,500 bond.
God bless our officers for taking such extraordinary steps to avoid killing this tortured soul. Thank God he was not armed. Praying for him and his family. We truly have the most amazing law enforcement in this county, and in our towns. Truly grateful for your service!
Rich Harnage says
Great job by the FCSO officers. Hope no one was injured including the assailant. This individual needs medical help.
Defund the police! This man has mental health problems and needs help, he does not need multiple felonies and to be locked up. What is wrong with the leaders in this county!?
C’mon man! says
Mark your an idiot. This was handled properly by deputies on scene and. Social worker would have got hurt. Why don’t you respond next time.
Trailer Bob says
Defund the police? Seriously? This guy wanted the police to shoot him dead…they didn’t, and they got him safely to jail. I am sure they will get him psychological help once he calms down.
FCSO might want to shop around for some effective tasers.
And jail is where he’ll get help, right?? This is what’s wrong with this state and country! He should be in a hospital!
Exactly what hospital would you like to see him in? No psychiatric hospital here. Psychiatric Hospitals were shut down in about 1973 in Florida and statewide now there’s only about two for the criminally insane.
There is a psych ward at Halifax Hospital in Daytona.
Trailer Bob says
I am sure he will be once he calms down. You expect the officers to just drop him off at the hospital in his current condition? They would have to have several officers at the ER for hours. Also, the hospital staff is not there to fight with a crazy man who is violent.
Mother of another says
Very grateful this situation did not devolve into something deadly for either individual involved. Thank you to the deputy/deputies who refrained from use of deadly force in light of the mental health status of the resident. Thank you for using your judgment and training to bring this to a safe conclusion. I do hope the individual is able to receive the help he needs from the mental health profession as I do not expect incarceration to be of any benefit.
5 Days without sleep, what drug(s) was he on ?
You have NO idea! He is my brother and was NOT on any drugs.
It’s not drugs, it’s a mental illness understand mental illness before you try & say it was drugs!
Medical help???? Yes, if you mean mental health. This man is an incorrigible drug addict and needs to be placed in a mental hospital for as long as he remains insane. Oh, wait….I forgot we no longer have mental institutions. Too bad, because the “poor man needs counseling, medical attention, and release back into the public” just doesn’t work on such individuals.
I hope to God his family members don’t bail him out If he refuses medication for his Bi Polar medication while in custody, his non-compliance can be dealt with in a way it cannot be out in the public domain. And it will be much more difficult for Raby to self-medicate with his drugs of personal choice while he is in custody.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Great officers who displayed great human skill above all. I am not happy with the Sheriff but the officers are number 1 in my book.
Trailer Bob says
Why are you not happy with the Sheriff? Seems he has done a pretty good job here in Flagler and crime is down quite a bit since he took over.