On Wednesday, a deputy was attacked during a routine traffic stop by a driver who struck him in the face several times, causing the deputy to fall down and become disoriented, according to a news release from the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
The driver then tried to remove the deputy's gun from his holster until the deputy managed to regain control of the situation by pulling out his service weapon and ordering the man to the ground, according to an earlier release posted on the Marion County Sheriff's Facebook page.
The driver, later identified as Tony Lee McKenzie, then fled into the woods. The injured deputy,
who was bleeding profusely and had blurry vision from a cut above his left eye, lost sight of him, deputies said.
After an intense manhunt for McKenzie, the 36-year-old Ocala man turned himself in, admitting to "doing some stupid things because he did not want to go to jail". He denied intentionally striking the lawmen and stated that "during the struggle, he must have hit the officer in the eye by mistake" and he fled the scene because he thought that he'd be handcuffed, the release stated.
This is McKenzie's third time behind bars this year, inmate records show.
He is facing charges of Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting an Officer with Violence and Depriving an Officer Means of Protection, according to the Sheriff's Office.More FloriDUH