U.S. Marshals help Sheriff catch Gifford man wanted on violent charges

GIFFORD — With the help of the U.S. Marshals Service, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office was able to capture a Gifford man wanted on three violence-related warrants.

“The assistance and assets of the U.S. Marshals Service is priceless. They supply us with manpower and equipment that we do not have, which assist our agency in apprehending suspects in a safe and efficient manner at no cost to this agency,” said Sheriff Deryl Loar.Officers arrested Willie Lee Hicks, 26, of 28th Avenue, Gifford, on Wednesday, Nov. 4. He is being held at the county jail on $100,000 bond. The warrants were issued on charges of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felony aggravated battery, and possession of a firearm/ammunition/electric devices by a convicted felon.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, he attacked his girlfriend on June 9, accusing her of sleeping with her father and threatening to blacken her eyes.

During the confrontation, Hicks pulled his girlfriend from her vehicle and began beating her and trying to “knee spike” her in the head. At some point, Hicks grabbed a large bottle of vodka and started using it to beat the woman in the head.

Two men passed by during the incident and intervened, pulling Hicks off of the woman, according to the report.

Hicks left and later came back with a black and silver handgun, authorities said. He then pointed it at the woman and “appeared to fumble” with the gun and “decided to hit her in the head with it.”

The two males who had helped before intervened a second time, giving the woman time to get into her car to escape. She drove away from the scene and was able to flag down a deputy who noted that she had a split upper lip that needed stitches and a laceration to her forehead, requiring surgical staples.

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