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Okeechobee
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Okeechobee County deputies rescue child from woods; ‘You are the demon. I know what I must do with you,’ man reportedly told child
Bryan Eric Fabian Adams, 31

OKEECHOBEE — It took several deputies and a K-9 to apprehend a man who was reportedly high on methamphetamine and had just pulled an 11-year-old from the child’s home and dragged the youngster into some nearby woods.

Arrest reports recount how Bryan Eric Fabian Adams, 31, pulled the pajama-clad child into the cold around 3:18 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, and kept saying: “You are the demon. You are the demon. I know what I must do with you.”

Adams pulled the child into some nearby woods as deputies from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) and K-9 Nero frantically searched for the pair.

Around 3:32 a.m. Deputy Leland Schoonmaker radioed that the two had been found. The child was safely taken from Adams, but the man was not going to go quietly.

In his report Deputy Schoonmaker indicated how he, K-9 Nero, and Deputy John Hazy finally found Adams and the child lying on the ground in some thick vines and palmettos. Adams was lying on his back with his arms across his chest. The child was lying face down.

Neither were moving and both looked like they were asleep, stated Deputy Schoonmaker.

As Deputy Schoonmaker tried to get the child out of the dense underbrush, Deputy Hazy tried to place handcuffs on Adams.

“I then observed Bryan getting up off the ground and lunging at Deputy Hazy. Bryan then turned around and began punching me in the chest with both hands,” stated Deputy Schoonmaker. “One wrist did have a handcuff on it and he was swinging it around as he was punching me.”

Adams then turned around and ran back into the dense underbrush.

Deputy Schoonmaker then took the child to an area nearby where emergency medical personnel was waiting.

Deputy Mark Margerum soon heard K-9 Nero, who had been released to search for Adams by his partner Deputy Matthew Crawford, as he engaged Adams in some thick brush.

“I could see the bottom half of Bryan and K-9 Nero — Bryan was appeared to be lying on his back,” stated Deputy Margerum in his report. “Bryan was punching K-9 Nero in the left side of K-9 Nero’s head while K-9 Nero was holding Bryan’s right leg with his mouth.”

Deputy Margerum grabbed Adams by the leg and tried to pull him from the brush as Adams kept saying: “I have to stop the demons. I have to do it.”

Adams started hitting Nero in the head again and would not stop even after the deputy had used his Taser which, stated Deputy Margerum, had little to no effect on the man. The deputy used his Taser on Adams at least four times, but none seemed to have any effect on the man, stated the report.

When Deputy Margerum was finally able to extricate the man from the underbrush, Adams reportedly swung and hit the deputy in the jaw. Adams, continued the report, started to swing on the deputy again but Deputy Margerum retaliated and “ ... punched Bryan in the face approximately five times with my right hand.”

At that point Adams quit resisting and the deputy was able to put handcuffs on both of the man’s wrists.

When it was all said and done, seven deputies and one K-9 were involved in finding Adams and the boy and taking Adams into custody.

Adams was then taken to Raulerson Hospital where he allegedly admitted to injecting methamphetamine just prior to the arrival of the OCSO deputies.

It should also be noted that Deputy Margerum, Deputy Crawford and Deputy Corporal Don Ellis were also treated at the hospital for exposure to Adams’ bodily fluids.

“We’re taking all precautions to make sure our officers, including the K-9, are all right,” Sheriff Paul May said Friday afternoon. “Those deputies exercised a lot of restraint. They had every right to use whatever force was needed.”

Although extremely tired, Sheriff May said K-9 Nero appeared to be all right.

Arrest reports indicate that Adams is charged with the felonies of: child abuse without great bodily harm; aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer (three counts); use of a deadly weapon/battery on a police K-9; resisting a law enforcement officer with violence (five counts); battery on a law enforcement officer; and, escape.

Adams is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on $170,000 bond.

A records check indicated that Adams is currently on felony probation after being found guilty of criminal mischief - $1,000 or more. Adams was arrested July 4, 2013.

He was scheduled to end his probation on Jan. 23, 2015.

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