A Florida man (by way of Alabama) who wanted on a slew of charges has been arrested after a brutal fight with a police K9.
Eric Mathis, from Alabama, is charged with attempted carjacking, attempted burglary, three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, and battery on a police K9.
The confrontation unfolded on Friday around 1:30 p.m. in Escambia County. According to a police report obtained by WEAR, a caller reported Mathis for walking in and out of traffic and attempting to grab the steering wheel of stopped cars. When deputies arrived in the area, a woman on her porch directed authorities to a home nearby.
A man then called out to the officer from inside the residence, telling them that the 25-year-old suspect was trying to enter his home while his wife and daughter were inside. Deputies eventually found Mathis hiding behind a blue tarp on the property, but he refused to show his hands or cooperate with authorities.
Even as officers moved to take him down, Mathis continued to resist arrest, police said. He started to pull himself up from the ground, prompting a pair of deputies to deliver “multiple strikes to Mathis’ head and face, ultimately knocking him unconscious,” the report stated.
The suspect then regained consciousness while deputies worked to secure his handcuffs, and again refused to obey commands. Officers knocked him out a second time, but he woke up again before he could be secured by authorities.
When a taser failed, deputies deployed K9 officer Zeek, who latched onto the suspect’s neck. After that, Mathis was finally secured and taken into custody.
He’s still alive…which is, sadly, more than we can say for many people of color who’ve been wanted for much less — or nothing at all.