By Stephen Owsinski
A Hillsborough County deputy who was called to investigate a “suspicious person” at a McDonald’s in Sun City Center received a rude awakening (of sorts) at dawn of February 15, 2015. Deputy Washington responded to this call 12 minutes into his 12-hour shift and, upon arrival, observed a man running full-bore directly at him. Once he got within close proximity to the deputy, Noval Taylor, 27, uttered the words “I’ve never punched a cop before!” Following was a punch to the left side of Deputy Washington’s face.
Needless to say, the “suspicious person” call swiftly upgraded to a definite “crimes against justice” arrest.
After the verbal threat was followed by a closed-fist punch to the head, Deputy Washington recovered. The two men tangled as the deputy attempted to arrest Taylor. But Taylor had additional plans in mind.
In the physical struggle to restrain and handcuff the suspect, Taylor was taken to the ground. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s public information office, during the process to subdue Taylor, he grabbed for the deputy’s holstered firearm. Successfully retaining his firearm, Deputy Washington then felt Taylor attempting to deprive him of his police radio, presumably to prevent summoning assistance.
Both attempts were unsuccessful, largely underscored by the deputy’s use of force, gun and radio retention tactics, and staying in the fight. Sound familiar?
Ultimately, Taylor was arrested and charged with battery on a LEO, depriving an officer of means of protection or communication, and obstructing or opposing an officer with violence. A domestic battery charge was also imposed pursuant to Taylor’s brother filing a criminal affidavit alleging he was punched in the head on Saturday, one day prior to taking a poke at Deputy Washington.
Taylor is no stranger to the criminal justice system. In Hillsborough County alone, Taylor has amassed 22 charges, including the three felonies and one misdemeanor he chalked up right after Sunday’s sunrise. Of those charges, Taylor has obstructed law enforcement a few times and has a seeming penchant for selling crack cocaine near school grounds. He has served time in both county jail and the Florida State Prison system.