SARASOTA -- A Sarasota woman has come forward to tell her side of an incident that ended up in her girlfriend's arrest Sunday night in Sarasota.
According to Tiffany Sutton, her niece had gotten into an altercation Sunday night in the parking lot of Moore's Grocery, 1993 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. way, Sarasota. After Sutton tried to stop the fight between her niece and another woman, the 37-year-old said the woman left, jumped in a car and returned with a car filled with people.
"There were about five men and six girls. ... As they were approaching me, some had bats, some had sticks, another had a hammer," she said. "I went to my car to get my gun from the glove compartment. Once I got the gun up out of there, the dude hit me and knocked me unconscious."
According to the Sarasota Police Department, officers saw a large crowd gathering in the area at about 9:30 p.m.
"Officers heard a single gunshot fired and observed Chanee Williams with a firearm. When Williams saw the officers, she ran northbound from the area with the firearm in her hand, refusing orders by officers to stop," the release states. "Officers observed Williams throw the firearm in an abandoned residential lot at 2727 N. Washington Court, Sarasota."
"I went to the ground and I guess Chanee grabbed the gun," Sutton said. "The police happened to see Chanee."
Sutton said she and Williams have been dating for about nine months.
Williams fell to the ground and was arrested. According to a report, officers found one clear bag of marijuana in her left front sweatshirt pocket and a fully loaded 9mm pistol. Police said Williams' criminal history includes four felony convictions.
"I was knocked out during that time so I can't say who shot what because I was knocked out during that time," Sutton said, adding that a bystander lifted her up from the ground. "Both the police officers never asked me one time if I was alright. ... The only thing I remember him taking was a picture of my face."
Genevieve Judge, spokeswoman for the Sarasota Police Department, said she encourages Sutton to give the department a call to give her account.
"What I'm assuming is when our officers got there, she may have not been on scene," she said.
Williams was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; firing a weapon in public; resisting arrest; and possession of marijuana.
She was released Monday from Sarasota County jail on bonds totaling $9,000.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.