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Man bites chunk out of officer’s head after taser fails to stop him at festival

James Michael Anderson (Holmes County Sheriff’s Office)

Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

A sheriff’s deputy had a chunk of flesh bitten out of his head at a music festival when he encountered a man who had consumed multiple psychedelic drugs, according to investigators in the Florida Panhandle.

The suspect, who was captured, was identified as a volunteer staffer at Sol Fest in Ponce De Leon, the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Ponce De Leon is about a 90-mile drive northeast from Pensacola.

Investigators say the attack happened on Sunday, May 5, the final day of the four-day music and arts festival.

“An HCSO deputy was attacked while on foot patrol by a (man) under the influence of multiple substances including PCP, LSD, ketamine, mushrooms, and ecstasy,” the sheriff’s office said.

“(He) assaulted the deputy and tried to grab his gun, resulting in serious injuries including a chunk bitten out of the deputy’s head. Despite the deputy’s efforts and the use of a taser, (the man) remained combative.”

The suspect was “eventually restrained” when other deputies arrived to help. Both men were taken to a hospital for treatment, officials said.

The deputy’s identity and details of his injuries have not been released.

The suspect is charged with “aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence,” officials said.

Multiple drug-related arrests were made during the festival, after attendees were found in possession of mushrooms, MDMA, ecstasy, THC oil and cocaine, officials said.

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