Florida Keys

A Florida man tried to flee the cops. Then he ate the back seat of the patrol car

Melvin Stubbs
Melvin Stubbs Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A Homestead man took a bite out of crime — well, law enforcement property — after being arrested for suspicion of dealing cocaine, police said.

Melvin Stubbs, 37, tried to escape arrest by running away but was eventually taken down by deputies Thursday night after they said they caught him carrying 41.4 grams of cocaine inside his white BMW at about 10 p.m. at mile marker 59 in Grassy Key.

Sgt. Mark Jones and Deputy George Zakariadze were on traffic duty when they saw a white BMW traveling south on U.S. 1 with what appeared to be very dark, illegal window tinting. The deputies stopped the BMW and, using a “tint meter,” found the windows were too dark under state law.

Deputy Zakariadze went to his patrol car to write a warning for the window tint and learned Stubbs had a warrant for violating probation stemming from cocaine sales.

That’s when Stubbs began to resist arrest. His jacket fell off during the struggle and inside deputies said were small plastic bags filled with the cocaine.

Stubbs was finally shocked by a Taser gun while running toward the road and fell to the ground. He was placed in the back seat of a patrol car.

Then deputies realized Stubbs continued to fight his arrest while handcuffed in a back seat. He was kicking the door and then used his teeth to inflict some property damage.

“Stubbs began kicking the passenger side of the patrol car door with his feet,” said Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. “Sgt. Jones noticed a large piece of the back seat of the patrol car that Stubbs had chewed off and/or eaten, causing at least $1,000 in damage.”

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Police said they found this cocaine on Melvin Stubbs on Thursday night. Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Stubbs, who was listed as a construction worker, was booked into the Stock Island Detention Center on charges of felony cocaine trafficking, felony property damage and misdemeanor resisting an officer.

Before he was jailed, Stubbs was taken to Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon, where he was checked out and medically cleared.

On Friday morning, he remained locked up without bond.

Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.