OKEECHOBEE — On Friday, Aug. 9, an Okeechobee man was arrested after he was allegedly caught trying to leave the scene of a traffic accident with a child sitting next to him on the front seat of his pickup truck and then he tried to fight the officers who stopped him.
He was charged with child neglect without great harm, DUI, assault on law enforcement officers, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license and obstruction without violence. His bond was set at $15,500.
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shane Bogner responded to a call at State Road 78 West and U.S. 441 Southeast pertaining to a traffic crash. When he arrived, he found a white Ford van and a green Toyota pickup. As he approached, he reportedly observed the driver of the pickup, identified as James Edward Cypress, 33, attempting to put the pickup in drive. Seated next to him was a child. Deputy Bogner ordered him to exit the vehicle, and he reportedly became belligerent. Deputy Bogner also noted Cypress had red, watery eyes and smelled strongly of alcohol.
While Deputy Bogner was speaking with another deputy, Cypress allegedly jumped up with his fists balled and advised them he wanted to fight. He was immediately taken to the ground and restrained. Cypress reportedly refused medical treatment and was taken to the Okeechobee County Jail.