A quick-thinking staff member at DeLand Animal Hospital helped rescue a 28-year-old DeLand woman from a violent domestic situation, resulting in the arrest of her live-in boyfriend, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman was treated for injuries May 25, and her alleged abuser, 39-year-old Jeremy Floyd, is in custody, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Laura Williams.
However, the victim later declined to complete a sworn statement for sheriff’s deputies, and said she didn’t want to press charges. It’s ultimately up to the State Attorney’s Office whether to prosecute the case against Floyd.
The victim told deputies she had been beaten Wednesday, May 23, and was threatened at gunpoint, preventing her from leaving their home for two days.
“After spending all day Thursday in bed due to a head injury, finally Friday afternoon the woman convinced her boyfriend to let her bring their dog to DeLand Animal Hospital,” Williams said. “He insisted on accompanying her, armed with a loaded handgun.”
Once at the veterinary office, the woman covertly slipped a note to a staff member that read: “Call the cops. My boyfriend is threatening me. He has a gun. Please don’t let him know.”
The staff member alerted law enforcement, and DeLand police were first to the scene, detaining and disarming Floyd, Williams said.
Volusia County sheriff’s deputies were also called to the scene because the alleged acts of domestic violence took place at the couple’s home on South Amelia Avenue, outside DeLand city limits.
Deputies arrested Floyd, a convicted felon, after the visibly injured girlfriend said Floyd had repeatedly battered her on Wednesday night, threatened her at gunpoint, and physically prevented her from leaving their home.
The woman was treated at Florida Hospital DeLand for injuries, including a head injury, a black eye and bruised arms.
“[The victim] stated Jeremy was upset with her because he felt that she was flirting with other men. [The victim] advised that Jeremy said she needed to go to the bedroom because he was going to call all of his black friends to come over and have sex with her,” a Sheriff’s Office incident report said. “[The victim] said she then went to the bedroom acting like she was complying with Jeremy’s requests, and then jumped out of the window and ran towards South Amelia Avenue.”
Before she could escape, Floyd heard her, the victim told deputies, and he proceeded to chase her down, grab her by the hair and drag her back inside the home.
“She stated that Jeremy [Floyd] then retrieved her Springfield XD handgun and threatened to kill her while the two were in the kitchen,” the report goes on to say.
The victim attempted to wrestle the gun away from Floyd, and the gun went off in the home during the altercation. She told deputies that Floyd was able to hang on to the gun, and that the altercation “did not escalate further,” the report said.
On Friday afternoon, May 25, the woman convinced her boyfriend to let her bring their dog to DeLand Animal Hospital, since it was “behaving oddly.”
Following the incident at DeLand Animal Hospital, Williams said, deputies went to the woman’s home, where she consented to let them search the property and take photographs.
They located two bullet holes in a hallway, where bullets passed through drywall and into another room, according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.
After deputies searched the home on South Amelia Avenue, the victim declined to complete a sworn statement and told deputies she didn’t want to pursue criminal charges.
However, Floyd was arrested based on the victim’s statements and her injuries, which were “consistent with being battered,” the incident report said.
Floyd agreed to speak with a deputy without a lawyer at the Sheriff’s Office District 2 headquarters in DeLand, after he was arrested Friday.
“[Floyd] stated he was upset with [the victim] because he has a problem with n – – – – – s and felt that she was a n – – – – – lover,” the report said he told the deputy. “Jeremy advised he made a joke while the two were inside of the residence that he was going to call his friends over to run a train on her. [Floyd] advised shortly after that comment, he observed [the victim] dive out of the bedroom window head first.”
He told the deputy that the two had been drinking and taking Suboxone and other unknown white pills.
Floyd went on to tell the deputy that he ran after the woman, picked her up and brought her back inside as she yelled. When the deputy asked why he did not let the victim leave, Floyd said he “did not want her to run into any strangers,” according to the report.
Floyd went on to say that once back inside the home, the victim got the gun, and Floyd became concerned that she was going to commit suicide, according to the report.
Floyd said he tried to take the gun away from the victim, and two to three rounds were discharged into the floor of the home during the fight. After the altercation, he told the deputy, the two “laid down together and fell asleep.”
Floyd is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and simple battery.
As of Wednesday afternoon, May 30, Floyd remained in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail.
A judge had initially set his bond at $57,000, and ordered him to refrain from contacting the victim. On May 30, however, Floyd was additionally charged with stalking, for allegedly attempting to contact the victim at least 16 times using the jail’s phones.
His ability to bond out was also taken away, with the new charge.
As for where the case goes from here, a State Attorney’s Office spokesman said the victim’s willingness to cooperate is important, but it isn’t the only factor.
“A victim’s willingness to cooperate is one of many factors that is taken into account in a domestic-violence case,” said Bryan Shorstein, spokesman for the 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. “We are trying to protect the victims in these cases so each case is reviewed, and then a decision is made based on the totality of the circumstances.”
Editor’s note: Although the female victim is named in the Sheriff’s Office report, The Beacon is not using her name because the charges against Floyd indicate she is a victim of domestic violence.