OKEECHOBEE — A woman was reportedly punched in the back of the head as she was driving a man home on Dec. 14 at approximately 2 a.m. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Hernandez was dispatched to the 800 block of U.S. 441 Southeast in response to a call about a disturbance in progress. He found a man sitting inside a white minivan. The man identified himself as 25-year-old Patrick Courtney, Linda Road. According to Deputy Hernandez, Courtney was intoxicated and had dried blood around his mouth and nose. Courtney allegedly began cursing at Deputy Hernandez as soon as he saw him.
The alleged victim said she was driving home with her boyfriend in the front seat and Courtney in the back, when out of nowhere, Courtney punched her in the back of the head. When they arrived at her home and she got out of the van, Courtney reportedly ran after her and tackled her to the ground, causing her to hit her head. She said her boyfriend defended her by punching Courtney and pushing him off of her. Courtney then got back into the van and refused to leave.
EMS responded to the scene, but the victim and Courtney both refused treatment. Courtney reportedly attempted to slam the van door in the faces of the EMS personnel, and Deputy Shane Bogner held the door open. When Courtney reportedly grabbed Deputy Bogner’s hand to move it away from the door, he was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. The victim declined to press charges, so Courtney was not charged with battery for hitting her. He was also charged with trespassing in a conveyance, because he allegedly refused to get out of the van. His bond was set at $6,000.