Police shot a distraught 51-year-old St Augustine woman with a bean bag round fired from a 12-guage shotgun last night. Today she is in jail in lieu of $3,000 on two misdemeanor charges filed by the St Augustine Police Department.
Police are not providing details on the circumstances leading to the arrest of Tracy Jane Huff; however, one televised account indicates that police declared a “standoff” just after 8:00 p.m. Friday night.
There was an outstanding warrant for Huff for failing to appear for a court date; a misdemeanor offense with a $2,000 bond.
A representative of the police department is quoted in another report saying Huff forced the employees and customers out of Papa John’s and barricaded herself, alone, inside the pizzeria. Although not confirmed, Mark Samson was quoted to say Huff “allegedly had a knife”.
Cell phone camera images posted on social media websites received feedback from readers questioning the need for the “militaristic response” to an individual woman, locked in a vacant restaurant, armed only with a knife, who was accused of missing a court date. The images show deputy sheriffs and police officers in SWAT jackets and battle dress uniforms armed with high-powered, automatic weapons. A mini-armored personnel carrier (tank) operated by a county special weapons and tactics unit pulled up to the front of the building.
About an hour after the incident began, it concluded after one unidentified person shot Huff with a bean bag load; a less-lethal projectile than a metal shotgun load. A dozen heavily armed officers rushed the building about 9:00 p.m. after Huff was knocked to the ground.
Police charged Huff with misdemeanor trespassing, establishing a $1,000 appearance bond. She was booked at the St Johns County Jail at about 11:10 p.m. according to the jail log.