Things got pretty out of control at an Islamorada workplace on Tuesday evening.
According to a police report from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, three deputies responded to a disturbance call at a wood shop used by Lobster Trap Art, at around 7:30 p.m.
On the scene, officers encountered a woman, Sharon Milton, who said she’d been attacked by a fellow staffer who had been causing issues at work, such as cordoning off her area and blocking other people’s paths.
Milton stated that she went over to the retrieve a dustpan from where the suspect, later identified as Teresa Denise Richards, was working, but that Richards blocked off her area with a chop saw. When Milton asked her to move the tool, she reportedly gave her the “middle finger in a profound manner,” according to the arrest report.
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Milton stated that she then attempted to physically move the chop saw to gain access to the dustpan. But as she did this, she said, Richards, 56, picked up a hammer and began swinging it at her.
As per the arrest affidavit, Milton was able to grab the Florida City woman’s arm to prevent being struck, and a struggle ensued, causing Richards to fall backward into an industrial drum fan.
Milton pinned Richards to the ground until a male coworker removed the hammer from her grip and she let Richards go. That’s when Richards picked up a two-foot-long wooden stick and struck Milton multiple times with it, says the report.
The male worker was again able to disarm Richards, who then walked to the back door and obtained an unknown item — possibly a screwdriver — and “made additional threats.”
After the male worker threatened to call her supervisor, he said Richards put down the item and left the immediate area.
When deputies confronted Richards, she said that she was the one who had been attacked. After they told her there was video surveillance evidence of what had gone down, she admitted to picking up a hammer during the incident. It was later found, as was the stick, and entered into evidence.
Richards was charged with aggravated assault without intent to kill and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and transported to Plantation Key Jail without incident. She was being held on $30,000 bail.
Milton, who had bruises to her forearms consistent with defense wounds blocking an attack, refused medical attention but does wish to press charges.