Deputy draws firearm, uses stun gun on Bradenton man charged with theft, battery

MANATEE -- A deputy drew his firearm and used a stun gun on a suspect and accidentally on a bystander when arresting a man charged with theft, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Marlon Christmas, 39, entered a Family Dollar located at 3626 1st Street in Bradenton on Tuesday and tried to walk out with several items totaling $166.60 without paying, according to an arrest warrant.

The manager confronted Christmas and he pulled away from her, breaking the basket he was holding and pushing her, deputies said. Christmas then ran into the parking lot and entered a vehicle illegally parked in a handicap space.

The deputy arrived on scene and activated his lights as bystanders pointed him to Christmas' car, where the deputy said Christmas was making "furtive movements" inside. The officer drew his gun and pointed it at the driver, telling him to get out of the vehicle and on the ground.

Christmas got out of the vehicle, looked at the deputy and then ran, according to a report. The deputy chased Christmas, who was tackled by a bystander.

The deputy warned Christmas, who was still trying to get up, that he would use a stun gun on him if he didn't stop resisting, deputies said. Christmas kept struggling and the deputy used the stun gun on Christmas' neck.

As the deputy was on Christmas' waist the effect of the stun gun wore off and Christmas flipped over, trying to push the deputy off, according to a report. The deputy jumped up and deployed the stun gun again, which hit both Christmas and the bystander who had tackled him. Both were affected by the stun gun.

Two other deputies arrived on scene and Christmas was placed under arrest. He is charged with theft, resisting a merchant, criminal mischief, battery on the manager, battery on law enforcement and resisting arrest with violence. He was also cited for driving with a suspended license and parking illegally.

Christmas is being held in the Manatee County jail on $3,120 bond.