[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
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[Original Publish Date: 10/12/19]
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Florida – A 26-year-old man was arrested Friday and charged with DUI, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and resisting an officer without violence after a “juvenile victim advis[ed] he had been bumped by another vehicle while traveling southbound on Hwy 27… [and] he was afraid to stop and the defendant continued following him.” According to an arrest report, an officer at one point personally observed a white Ford Ranger traveling “approximately one foot behind the juvenile victim”, leading to Keith Emanuel Giddings Jr.’s arrest.
A probable cause affidavit states, “in the area of the Plantations, the defendant approached [the juvenile victim] from the rear, in what he believed was a high rate of speed. The defendant began to change lanes back and forth and eventually stayed behind the juvenile victim who… became concerned and changed lanes and attempted to accelerate to get away. The defendant followed.”
The report alleges that the chase continued – with the juvenile victim “attempt[ing] several times to change course by using different streets”– but to no avail. “[T]he defendant intentionally struck the rear of the juvenile victim’s vehicle with the front of his vehicle”, the affidavit states.
Gidding’s arrest itself was not without incident, according to police. One officer wrote, “Before I could fully put my vehicle in park the driver of the White pick up [Giddings]… exited his vehicle and proceeded to aggressively approach my vehicle while yelling why are you stopping me. He was waiving his fists in an aggressive manner towards this officer.” The same officer described Giddings – whose two breath test samples later read .096/.095 – as being in an “agitated state”, refusing to comply with directions, and in a “rage.” The officer stated that after failing several times to gain Gidding’s compliance with verbal commands, “I informed the subject that I was going to use my Taser and gave a count down of 3-2-1”, however “[t]he deployment was unsuccessful and [Giddings] pulled the wires out of the one prong that contacted his body and become more aggressive. I then pulled my duty pistol out and gave him commands to get on the ground”, the affidavit states.
The report also notes that after a period of calm down on his knees, Giddings stood up and again ignored commands by attempting to enter his passenger door to retrieve a cigarette from his vehicle. “At this point back up officers arrived and he was secured in handcuffs.”
Giddings reportedly told police “he was upset with his ‘old lady’ and had gone for a drive.”
James Hope is a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who has been practicing criminal law in Tavares, Florida, since 1987. He has also been the Publisher and Executive Editor of Lake Legal News since 2009. He may be contacted at LakeLegalNews@gmail.com, or through his website at www.AttorneyJamesHope.com. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]