Man with drugs tased after fleeing from deputies

GIFFORD — A 30-year-old man in possession of marijuana and other drugs was shocked twice with a taser after he fought and fled from deputies, law enforcement officials said.

Xavius O. Bryant,  of the 4500 block of 39th Avenue, Gifford, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, resisting arrest with violence and loitering or prowling. He is being held at the Indian River County Jail on $8,000 bond.

A deputy saw a man, later identified as Bryant, at 11:43 p.m. Tuesday standing in front of Smith’s Grocery, 3206 45th Street, which was closed.

The deputy approached Bryant and Bryant said, “I’m good. I’m just leaving; I was charging my phone,” deputies said.

The deputy told Bryant that he wasn’t free to leave and that the deputy was going to conduct a loitering and prowling investigation. The deputy asked Bryant for his I.D., and Bryant told him he didn’t have one.

Bryant gave the deputy his full name, date of birth and said that he just got out of prison for resisting law enforcement, deputies said.

The deputy asked Bryant to put his hands on the patrol car while the deputy searched him. The deputy felt a bag of possible narcotics in Bryant’s pocket, removed it and placed it on the hood of the car.

The bag had a white crystal-like substance, deputies said. Bryant then tried to flee by punching the deputy with a closed fist. The deputy “took him to the ground,” where Bryant continued to punch and elbow the deputy.

The deputy fought back by hitting Bryant in the head and face multiple times. As a second deputy arrived on scene, Bryant freed himself from the first deputy’s grip, ran west on 45th Street and then south on 33rd Avenue, deputies said.

Both deputies were chasing Bryant when the second deputy tried to use his taser, but the cartridge failed to deploy. The second deputy tried a second time and the cartridge hit and shocked Bryant in the back.

When Bryant fell to the ground, he got up and tried to run again. The second deputy shocked Bryant with the taser again, hitting him a second time in his back.

Bryant fell to the ground and was taken in to custody. Deputies found a cigar pack that contained a smoked joint and a small amount of marijuana in Bryant’s pants, deputies said.

Deputies also found a glass pipe used to smoke crack cocaine. The crystal-like substance was unable to be identified on scene, but will be submitted to the crime lab for testing, according to the arrest report.

Bryant was arrested and taken to the county jail for booking.

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