Christmas morning turned violent -- and nearly deadly -- after two Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies fought with an accused burglar threatening to shoot them dead after a chase and crash on Ramrod Key, said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.
Deputy Sgt. Evan Calhoun and Deputy Josh Gordon were both treated and released from Lower Keys Medical Center after the 5:30 a.m. fight, Ramsay said.
The suspect, Corey Taylor Robinson, 24, of 27371 Barbados Lane on Ramrod Key, was arrested after the deputies had to fight with him after their Tasers and pepper spray didn't stop him, according to reports.
Robinson was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting an officer with violence. More charges are pending.
"I spoke to both (deputies) at the hospital and they were in good spirits, despite being black and blue from being punched," Ramsay said. "They're going to be O.K. There were reports the guy was suicidal, and he kept saying he had a gun and reaching like he had one. So, there was a lot of restraint used by the officers.
"He was very lucky he wasn't shot," Ramsay said. "I'm glad that didn't happen, but both officers could have potentially been justified. It was a very scary situation."
Calhoun was in the area of Indies Drive investigating a burglary to a Monroe County Fire Rescue vehicle when he attempted a traffic stop on a stolen, white Ford F-150 truck, according to reports. The truck didn't stop, and instead sped down Indies Drive before crashing into mangroves.
Robinson then ran into the mangroves. When Gordon arrived as backup, the two deputies chased Robinson. He began telling them that he had a gun and was reaching behind his back when both deputies shocked him with their Tasers, to no avail, Ramsay said.
Gordon then used his pepper spray, but that also didn't subdue Robinson, who began fighting them, according to reports.
Robinson punched both deputies multiple times before deputies Joe Moran and Todd Jones arrived, and Robinson was finally taken into custody.
Inside the stolen F-150, officers found a defibrillator used to treat heart-attack patients that was stolen from the county vehicle and other stolen items.
On Thursday, Robinson remained at Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island in lieu of $75,000 bail. The investigation remains ongoing, Ramsay said.
"We're lucky this didn't turn out worse than it did," the sheriff said. "And here it was Christmas morning. That's the life of a lawman."