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Impaired driver escapes from handcuffs, strikes deputy in mouth

An impaired driver used handcuffs as a weapon to strike an Okaloosa County deputy in the face after rear-ending a car on Highway 98 in Destin Sunday evening. According to a press release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Angel Santiz Lopez, 26 of Santa Rosa Beach, was charged with DUI with property damage, driving without a license, resisting arrest with violence, attempted escape, and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. A witness to the crash, which happened around 8 p.m., told the Sheriff’s Office Santiz Lopez hit the vehicle in front of him so hard his car went airborne, the Sheriff’s Office said. On the way to booking, Santiz Lopez freed one of his hands from the handcuffs. When an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped to re-secure him, Santiz Lopez used the loose handcuff hitting the deputy in the mouth causing a tooth to be knocked loose, the press release said. The deputy deployed his Taser to re-secure Santiz Lopez before taking him to booking without further incident, the release said.

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