Deputies early Saturday arrested a Palm Harbor man they say repeatedly struck a deputy and tried to carjack his patrol car before finally being subdued.
Zane Thomas Gavin, 23, was arrested after being hit with a stun gun twice, running from the patrol car and fighting with backup deputies, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. Gavin was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, attempted carjacking and aggravated battery.
Veteran deputy Richard Tipton suffered a broke tail bone and injuries to his left ear and lower lip. And a woman who tried to help him suffered a non-life-threatening head injury. Both were taken to area hospitals - as was Gavin.
Deputies say the incident happened around 4:25 a.m. after Tipton, while on patrol eastbound on Alderman Road near Westlake Boulevard, saw a man later identified as Gaven running from the south side of the road into the path of a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban.
The driver of the Suburban, 59-year-old Sharon Scroggins, stopped abruptly and then backed up and changed lanes before stopping again.
"We just turned not too far down the road and this big huge guy with no shirt on, literally just his hands up and like he was diving, he went right in front of my car," Scroggins said. "I stopped and my dad said back up."
As Tipton came closer, he saw Gavin lying on his back in the road and believed he had been struck by the Suburban. Tipton turned on his emergency lights and reported what he had seen over the radio.
But before he could get out of his car, Gavin had risen to his feet.
As Tipton approached Gavin to check his condition, Gavin punched him on the left side of his head without warning, deputies say. Gavin then struck the deputy several more times, breaking his eyeglasses and knocking him backward to the ground, according to the incident report.
Scroggins got out of the Suburban to assist Tipton and was injured herself, deputies say.
"That gentleman was coming toward him and I remember the officer went down," Scroggins said.
Deputies say Gavin then got into Tipton's cruiser and revved the engine as he attempted to put it in gear. Tipton, still dazed from the blows to his head, was able to get up, call for back-up, open the driver's door to the cruiser and use his stun on Gaven with no effect.
Tipton used his stun gun a second time, again with no apparent effect, deputies say. But Gavin got out of the car and ran north across the median, where he fell.
Investigators say Gavin continued to fight with backup deputies who arrived to take him into custody.
Scroggins had been driving wth her father, who was not injured.