A man was arrested after he punched a Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy in the face and ran out of his shoes as deputies chased him through a store, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Around 9:19 p.m. Saturday, a Manatee County Sheriff's deputy pulled his patrol vehicle behind a restaurant in the 2400 block of Cortez Road to work on reports when he noticed a suspicious vehicle. A silver four-door sedan was sitting in the corner of the parking lot and a man dressed in all black was leaning into the trunk, according to the probable cause affidavit.
A woman was talking to the man but walked away as the deputy approached. The man, later identified as Melkeva Ferguson, moved toward the open driver's door of the car. In the affidavit, the deputy reported a "very strong odor of marijuana" coming from inside the car.
As the deputy spoke with Ferguson and asked for his identification, the 21-year-old Ferguson was "acting extremely nervous" and moving his hands around his pockets and waistband. When Ferguson pulled his wallet and Bahamian I.D. from his pocket, a baggie with marijuana inside fell to the ground, the deputy noticed.
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The deputy tried to put Ferguson in handcuffs, but Ferguson pulled away, according to the affidavit. The deputy wrote he grabbed Ferguson's hair, and Ferguson punched him in the left side of his face.
Ferguson then took off running toward the nearby Home Depot. The deputy called over the radio for assistance and followed Ferguson through the store, where Ferguson ran out of his shoes, according to the affidavit.
Ferguson made it to the Bayshore on the Lake condos when a second deputy took him into custody. The affidavit noted Ferguson was wearing just his boxers and his black clothes were found near where he was arrested.
Ferguson was charged with battery on an officer, resisting an officer without violence and possession of drugs with intent to sell. When deputies spoke with him after reading his Miranda rights, Ferguson said he got "caught up in the game" and denied hitting the deputy, but ran because he did not want to get in trouble, according to the affidavit.
Deputies found cash, a digital scale and baggies with marijuana flakes inside the car, and 6.8 grams of marijuana was found on the ground near the car.
The deputy was not seriously injured in the incident and is OK, sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said.