Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco inmate's charges grow after deputy hurt during search

LAND O'LAKES — William Melendez had been in the county jail since July when a woman accused him of sexually molesting her.

Early Monday morning, according to a Sheriff's Office spokesman, Melendez had this warning for Deputy Jonathan Krisher during a routine search:

"Get ready for hell today."

Melendez followed orders to stick his arms through an opening in the cell door used to slide in food trays, so Krisher could remove his handcuffs.

Melendez grabbed the deputy's arms and held on, spokesman Kevin Doll said. Krisher, who is 31 and has been with the agency for three years, unleashed pepper spray, but the inmate got it out of his hands.

Krisher wrestled his arms away, closed the slot door and called for backup, Doll said. Krisher suffered cuts and bruises on his arms and a broken finger.

Backup arrived, deputies armed with Tasers. Melendez used his mattress as a shield, Doll said. And he broke the fire sprinkler, so water poured into the room. Melendez waved an open handcuff as a weapon and aimed pepper spray at the deputies' faces, Doll said.

Deputy Anderson Vazquez, 46, came into the cell and spoke with Melendez in Spanish, Doll said. After calming down, Melendez dropped the cuffs and spray. A handcuff key that was stolen from Krisher was found in the toilet, Doll said.

Melendez, 50, of Hudson, has been in jail since July 1, after a 37-year-old woman accused him of holding her down and molesting her. When Melendez was arrested, a deputy said he spit on him. Melendez was charged with sexual battery and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Now he faces five counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of protection and destroying fire extinguishing equipment. Melendez is being held in lieu of $160,000 bail.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco inmate's charges grow after deputy hurt during search 12/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Merkel spokesman: Germany still seeking stronger U.S. ties


    BERLIN — Berlin remains committed to strong trans-Atlantic relations, but Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion after meetings with President Donald Trump that Europe can no longer entirely rely on the U.S. "speaks for itself," her spokesman said Monday

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during an election campaign of her Christian Democratic Union, CDU, and the Christian Social Union, CSU, in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday. Merkel is urging European Union nations to stick together in the face of new uncertainty over the United States and other challenges. [Matthias Balk/dpa via AP]
  2. Tampa police: 46 arrests, 47 ejections at two-day Sunset Music Festival

    Public Safety

    Times staff

    TAMPA — In a preliminary tally Monday morning, police declared there were "no major incidents" during the two-day Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium but boosted the number of arrests and rejections they provided in earlier reports during the weekend.

    A Tampa Fire Rescue all-terrain vehicle patrols the parking area north of Raymond James Stadum on Sunday, day two of the Sunset Music Festival. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]

  3. Trump to speak at Arlington cemetery on Memorial Day


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is preparing his first Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they board Air Force One at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Saturda, in Sigonella, Italy. [AP photo]
  4. Two in serious condition after early-morning shooting in Tampa


    Two people are in serious condition after a shooting occurred early Monday morning in Tampa, according to the Tampa Police Department.

  5. Wrong-way driver on Courtney Campbell Causeway intercepted by police, faces DUI charge

    Public Safety

    A woman driving in the wrong direction on the Courtney Campbell Causeway early Monday morning was intercepted by Tampa Police officers and faces a DUI charge.