PALM COAST, FL – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to a weapons complaint at a home on Bird of Paradise Drive in Palm Coast on Friday night at 8 p.m. The reporting parties told deputies that when they arrived home there was a car in their driveway that they did not recognize. The driver was outside of the vehicle and the homeowners asked him to leave. One homeowner reported that the man pulled a pocket knife out and threatened him with it before driving away.
Deputies located the suspect vehicle and conducted a felony traffic stop. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was identified as 29-year-old Anthony Michael Petrillo. Petrillo was visibly irate and would not comply with verbal commands. Petrillo exited the vehicle and began yelling at deputies while pacing back and forth.
Deputies instructed Petrillo to walk backwards to them and upon getting close to deputies, Petrillo turned and faced deputies before attempting to run away. The ground was wet and Petrillo lost his footing. As a deputy approached Petrillo, Petrillo stood up and squared up to the deputy and threw two closed fist punches at the deputy, striking him in the chest and the abdomen.
The deputy bear hugged Petrillo and forced him to the ground in order to secure him in handcuffs. Paramedics then treated Petrillo for minor abrasions. Throughout the encounter, Petrillo remained irate, irrational, uncooperative and combative.
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“If you attack a Deputy Sheriff you are going to still go to jail but with more charges,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “These are the types of unknowns that law enforcement deals with on a daily basis. You never know how someone will respond to an encounter with law enforcement and our deputies must be prepared for anything. Deputies did a great job of reading his attitude and responding as quickly and safely as possible while protecting themselves and not injuring the suspect.”
Petrillo was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Resisting Arrest. He was booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility where he is being held on a $55,000 bond.
On the way to the jail, Petrillo was very agitated and slammed his head against the vehicle divider several times as well as repeatedly kicking the door. He was taken to Advent Health to assess his injuries but refused medical treatment and was transported to the jail.
Inside Petrillo’s vehicle, deputies found two pocket knives and narcotics paraphernalia including baggies with residue in them and used syringes.
Petrillo stated that he had been at the residence doing work for a contractor. The contractor confirmed that information but noted that the crew had left the residence 45 minutes prior to the encounter between Petrillo and the homeowners in the driveway.