OKEECHOBEE — A local woman was accused of spitting on a staff member at the Okeechobee County Jail early Tuesday morning, March 24. Maryann Puglia, 53, Southeast 44th Street was charged with battery on detention staff with fluids, and her bond was set at $2,500.
According to the arrest report, the staff member was in a different cell when Puglia began yelling racial slurs, directed toward the staff member. The staff member ignored the slurs and left the cell, passing by Puglia’s cell on her way out of the pod, when she reportedly heard Puglia spit and felt something hit her and realized Puglia had spit on her.
Puglia is in jail awaiting trial on some earlier charges.
She was arrested in October 2019 after allegedly throwing cat litter on her neighbor’s vehicle and then kicking a deputy in the leg.
Deputy Ashley Waskiewicz responded to a call in reference to a disturbance, and when she arrived, she reportedly observed Puglia walk toward her neighbor’s residence with a tray full of cat litter and throw it on the hood of her neighbor’s vehicle. As she walked away, Puglia reportedly yelled racial slurs regarding the neighbor’s Hispanic ethnicity.
Deputy Waskiewicz followed Puglia back to her home, where she reportedly left the door open.
When Deputy Waskiewicz told Puglia she was under arrest, she allegedly began to scream profanities and actively resisted arrest laying on her arms to prevent her arms from being restrained. After she was placed in wrist restraints, the report notes, she kicked Deputy Lamb in the shin as she was being walked out of the house.
In April 2019, off-duty Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Pollock was attending a birthday party for a small child in a Southeast 44th Street home when he reportedly observed a woman walk out of her front door using a walker and turn left. He stated she then placed her butt against the wall of her residence, directly in front of the living room window of the home where the birthday party was being held. He said she raised her T-shirt and pulled her underwear down, and then pulled them to the side. Deputy Pollock said he could clearly see her private parts as she did this, and that it occurred in full view of several small children.
Deputy Pollock walked across the street and identified himself, showing her his identification and badge because he was in civilian clothing. She reportedly began yelling profanity at him when he tried to take her arm. The woman, identified as 52-year-old Maryann Puglia, was arrested and charged with exposing sexual organs in public, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer with violence. Her bond was set at $3,000. The charge of exposing sex organs was dropped, and the charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer were adjudicated guilty. She was sentenced to county jail for two months on one charge and three months on the other, both to be served concurrently.
The report notes that on April 2, Deputy Michael Cauley took a complaint about her urinating on her front lawn in front of neighbors, and on April 6, Cpl. Bryan Lowe took a complaint for the same thing. She was warned each time to stop doing this, and a warrant for her arrest was submitted to the state attorney’s office because that incident did not occur in the presence of law enforcement.