Fla. cop beaten unconscious; suspect charged with attempted murder

The officer was hospitalized with severe injuries and will undergo facial reconstructive surgery

By Scott Butler
The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — The 19-year-old suspect who savagely attacked an Atlantic Beach police officer Thursday and was subsequently shot and wounded by a backup officer has been absentee-booked on a second-degree attempted-murder charge, according to the Police Department.

An update on Jaden Domani Perkins' condition was not released, but the department said the unidentified injured officer is home recovering and will undergo facial reconstructive surgery next week.

The parking lot and crime scene where an Atlantic Beach police officer was beaten unconscious July 16, 2020.
The parking lot and crime scene where an Atlantic Beach police officer was beaten unconscious July 16, 2020. (Photo/Atlantic Beach Police Department)

Perkins' last address was listed on Hanford Street near New Kings Road and Dunn Avenue, according to a pair of 2019 traffic citations in court records. He has no other court records in Duval County.

It's still unclear what provoked his actions and no other details have been released.

It began about 5 a.m. Thursday when Panera employees called police about a man causing a disturbance in the parking lot in the 800 block of Atlantic Boulevard.

Interim Chief Victor Gualillo said the suspect attacked the first arriving officer, knocking him unconscious and continuing to pummel him on the ground. He was still stomping his head when a backup officer, also not identified, soon arrived and ordered him to the ground.

Perkins initially complied but got back up while the second officer waited for more backup. He refused commands to halt and instead said something to the effect of "You're going to have to kill me," Gualillo said. The suspect came toward the officer and tried to grab his gun, the chief said.

The officer fired one shot wounding Perkins, who continued to be combative on the ground. Gualillo did not say where he was hit but that he was taken to a hospital in serious condition. The first officer also was hospitalized with severe head and facial injuries.

It was the first officer-involved shooting in at least 20 years, the chief said.

©2020 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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