A Leesburg woman was charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer after she reportedly threw a handful of small items at a cop who was trying to calm her down.
At around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a Leesburg police officer responded to a report of a suspicious person outside a home/business on Sumter Street. The caller said a white female wearing all black was yelling at herself and others in the area, according to the police report.
The owner of the home/business said she heard a disturbance outside and went to see what the issue was. She saw the woman – later identified as Tina Louise Kasson, 36, of 2336 Marcella Way Lot C – cursing at herself and anyone else who came into her view. She said she asked Kasson if she was OK and Kasson told her to “(expletive deleted) off.” The owner said Kasson’s behavior was disrupting customer access to her business, the report said.
Officers found Kasson sitting on the ground up against the business. One officer tried to speak with her, but she only yelled and cursed at him. She was rambling incoherently and was difficult to understand. The officer asked Kasson for her name, but she refused to provide it. She kept yelling for the officer to get out of her face when he was about six feet from her, according to the report.
Kasson then grabbed several items from the ground (mulch, twigs and old cigarette butts) and threw them at the officer, striking him in the chest. She was then placed under arrest, the report said.
Kasson continued yelling and cursing while being uncooperative. The officer decided to take her directly in the Lake County Jail for booking instead of the police station due to her behavior. At one point along the way, Kasson slipped one of her hands out of her handcuffs and the officer had to stop and resecure her, according to the report.
Once at the jail, it was discovered Kasson had a small cut to her upper right arm that required medical attention. The officer put her back in the patrol car and took her to UF Health Leesburg for treatment, the report said.
By the time they arrived at the hospital, Kasson had calmed down to the point where she provided hospital staff with her name and date of birth, which the officer confirmed through jail records. Once Kasson was treated and cleared by hospital staff, the officer asked her how she injured her arm. She said she didn’t know and could not say if someone hurt her or if she fell. The officer noted Kasson suffers from mental health issues as she continuously spoke to herself when he wasn’t speaking to her, according to the report.
Kasson was taken back to the jail, where she was booked on charges of simple battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. She’s being held on $3,000 bond and will appear in Lake County Court on May 31.