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Woman sinks teeth into deputy, Sheriff's Office said

Ellen Pride, 24, faces charges of resisting officers with violence, battery on a law enforcement and escaping from law enforcement custody.
Ellen Pride, 24, faces charges of resisting officers with violence, battery on a law enforcement and escaping from law enforcement custody.
Published Mar. 10, 2018

TAMPA — What started with the arrest of a suspected car thief Thursday escalated into a struggle in which a 24-year-old woman bit a Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy in the leg, officials say.

The incident occurred while deputies were arresting 19-year-old Alexander Roque of Gibsonton on charges that he stole a sport utility vehicle. Roque was also faces charges of driving without a license and threatening a public servant.

Ellen Pride is charged with escaping from law enforcement custody. Officials say she slipped out of her handcuffs before biting the arresting deputy.

Both face charges of resisting officers with violence and battery on law enforcement officers.

It happened this way, according to the Sheriff's Office:

A deputy saw Roque drive a black 2000 Dodge Durango and park at the Joy Food Store 10810 Highway 41 S just after 3:30 p.m. The deputy followed him inside the store because he knew Roque did not have a driver's license and was wanted for grand theft.

Roque resisted arrest, the Sheriff's Office said, and a detective came into the store to help the deputy put handcuffs on him.

While this was happening, Pride tried to reach into his pocket. It's unclear what the relationship was between the two, or what she was hoping to find.

A third deputy arrested Pride.

Deputies put Roque in the back of a patrol car, where they said he threatened to fight and kill them. The deputies placed Roque in leg shackles after he started to kick the door "with enough force to cause the upper portion of the door to bow away from the frame," according to the report.

While deputies waited for a car to take Pride away, they said that she, too, became combative.

"Pride was able to pull her right hand free from the handcuffs," the Sheriff's Office said. "Pride bent down and proceeded to bite the deputy through his uniform pants breaking the skin."

Deputies placed her back in handcuffs and took both suspects to the county jail.

Roque was being held Saturday in lieu of $12,502 bail. Pride was released on $16,500 bail. She could not be reached for comment.

Contact Jonathan Capriel at 813-225-3141 or jcapriel@tampabay.com. Follow @jonathancapriel.