Violence Against Law Enforcement and Elderly Victim Leads to Prison

Gene Duane Harris was found guilty this afternoon of two counts of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting an Officer with Violence, Aggravated Battery with a
Deadly Weapon, Battery on an Emergency Medical Care Provider, and Abuse of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult.

This was a one-day non-jury trial in Glades County presided over by the Honorable Judge Jack E. Lundy.  Defendants can choose to have a bench trial instead of having their case presented to a jury panel.

Harris was sentenced immediately after being found guilty to 80 months in prison. Assistant State Attorney William Dorman prosecuted the case.

The crimes happened on September 28, 2021, when deputies with the Glades County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for routine backup at the scene of a medical emergency involving a man who said he had been attacked. Glades County Medics were on scene treating a victim and advised deputies that a man was running away and pointed out his location.

Deputies saw the individual, later identified as the defendant, and pursued him on foot. They apprehended him and put him in handcuffs. He complained they were too tight and as one was
adjusted, he pulled his arm away and struck a deputy in the face. He was taken to the ground by deputies, with assistance from a medic, as the defendant became violently combative. He then bit the finger of the medic and kicked the other deputy. He was again restrained and secured in the back of a patrol car.

The investigation into the events of the day determined the defendant had been drinking beer earlier and then attacked an elderly man, outside of a residence, who relies on a walker to get around. The defendant began hitting the victim with the walker, knocking him to the ground. He then hit him with a bicycle and a tree branch before biting his thumbs. The defendant then went back in the home and came out with a pot of boiling water that had been on the stove. He went to pour it on the victim, who was trying to crawl away, but a neighbor, who saw him approach, knocked the pot out of his hands, protecting the victim.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office