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Driver on moped faces charges of assaulting officer

By DAN DeWITT
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003

HILL 'N DALE -- The first thing Deputy William Power noticed about the moped rolling through the Hill 'n Dale subdivision Saturday night was its lights, which were off.

The second thing he noticed was the driver, who Power knew was not supposed to be on the vehicle.

"I immediately recognized the driver as Samuel Sanders, (of) whom I did have prior knowledge (and who) did not have a valid license," Power's report states.

Power pulled Sanders over and told him he would be charged with the criminal violation of driving with a suspended license; the charge can be applied to moped drivers if they exceed 30 mph, the report said.

That's when the incident turned rough, according to Power's report.

The document gave the following account of the Sanders' arrest on the suspended license charge, as well as battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence:

Sanders started arguing, saying he was only supposed to get a ticket. He wasn't supposed to get arrested, he said.

As Power tried to put handcuffs on Sanders, a 17-year-old Hill 'n Dale resident, Sanders turned and elbowed Powers in the cheek. He then tried to escape while another deputy and Power grabbed him. Power and Sanders fell to the ground, with Sanders continuing to struggle.

Power was able to handcuff Sanders, who continued to try to break away as he was led to the back seat of Power's patrol car.

Once there, Sanders spit in Power's face, the deputy wrote, and "spit through the metal screen on all my computer equipment, cell phone and passenger side compartment. The defendant then began bragging to his family members, who were gathering in the area, that he had spit in my face."

Because Sanders complained about a shoulder injury, he was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital, where it was determined that he was not seriously injured. He was then taken to the Hernando County Jail and, from there, to a juvenile detention center in Ocala.

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