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Altha man charged after altercation with deputy following traffic stop

The Calhoun-Liberty Journal of Bristol, Florida

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An Altha man who fled a traffic stop after an altercation with a Calhoun County Sheriff's Deputy is facing several charges including battery on a law enforcement officer.

The incident happened Dec. 10 but Richard Leon Flanders, 49, was not taken into custody until Dec. 26.

According to the arrest report, Deputy Zachary Whitfield pulled Flanders over around 9:38 p.m. for having a faulty headlight and failing to heed a stop sign.

The deputy found that Flanders was driving with a suspended license due to unpaid traffic fines and failure to pay child support. While running a license check, a dispatcher learned that Flanders was in violation of a 7 p.m. curfew.

Flanders then asked the deputy if they could "talk about a few things." Whitfield responded yes, and Flanders asked if he could have his girlfriend come get him and the car.

The deputy replied that his girlfriend could pick up the car but "you are under arrest and going with me." Hearing that, Flanders bolted into the woods.

Whitfield chased him and fired his taser at him twice but did not hit him.

The deputy caught up with Flanders at a fence, where the two men began fighting as Flanders resisted being put in handcuffs.

During the altercation, Flanders hit the deputy in the face and knocked him off his feet. Flanders then jumped the fence and ran.

Tracking dogs from Calhoun and Gulf County prisons were called to the scene but were unable to find Flanders.

Additional charges against Flanders include resisting arrest with violence, driving while license suspended or revoked with knowledge and violation of probation.

Copyright 2014 The Calhoun-Liberty Journal, Bristol, Florida. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 1, 2014

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