Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Officer Janet Hawkins Charged with Resisting Arrest

A Daytona Beach police officer was arrested in Holly Hill Tuesday night after authorities said she became violent during a traffic stop and two injured officers.

Janet Hawkins was placed on administrative leave following the incident and faces three charges: careless driving, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence.

Investigators said Hawkins was stopped for speeding while apparently heading to the Holly Hill Police Department after learning her 25-year-old son had been arrested during a conflict at an apartment complex.

A police report indicated Hawkins was off-duty and driving her personal car at the time of the traffic stop. The report said she was angered after identifying herself as a police officer, called the Holly Hill officers rednecks and corrupt and said she would sue them for "messing with her family."

Holly Hill police said they tried to calm the situation, but that Hawkins only became more hostile and volatile when they tried to arrest her.

"As they attempt to take her into custody, she then enters her vehicle through the open window. They fear that she is trying to access a weapon. At that point, they went hands-on with her and attempted to place her in hand restraints. That's when she responded with law enforcement defensive tactics against my officers, ultimately injuring one of them," Holly Hill Police Chief Mark Barker said.

One officer involved in the incident suffered a sprained wrist and the other twisted a knee.

Authorities said Hawkins had a gun in her purse but it did not become a factor in the arrest.

The mayor of Holly Hill witnessed part of the confrontation.

"Agitated, belligerent, it was obvious she had some issues with being stopped," Roland Via said.

Hawkins was released from jail on bond on Wednesday and faces an internal affairs investigation. She most recently served in the Daytona Beach Police Department's cold case squad.

Hawkins' younger son said he doesn't buy the story.

"Her being an officer for more than 10 years, I think she would know what resisting arrest is and know not to do that," he said.

A check of her personnel records indicated there was an incident several years ago in which she slapped a fellow officer, but Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood said she had done a great job recently, and he said he was very disappointed.

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