Man says he tried to fend off drunk girlfriend before arrest

St Augustine Police reported to Historic City News that officers were called in the wee hours yesterday morning to an apartment on the southeast corner of an apartment building located at 35 Dufferin Street to investigate a disturbance between two residents.

Once on the scene, Patrolman Jerry Blaylock found 31-year-old William Thomas Kinlaw; shirtless, sweaty, and walking briskly around the back of the building.

“I asked him where he was coming from and he pointed toward apartment 2-F, on the southeast corner of the building,” Blaylock wrote in the arrest report. “I told him why I was there and the nature of the complaint. He told me that he had not been fighting with anyone, he just wanted to go smoke a cigarette.”

The officer asked Kinlaw to take him to the apartment to check on the condition of his girlfriend. According to Blaylock, Kinlaw told him to “go by yourself”, because he was going to smoke a cigarette.

By that time, backup arrived and the officer detained Kinlaw until he was certain that the person in his apartment was okay. Kinlaw reportedly refused, again, to accompany the officer to check on the occupant, so Blaylock secured him in handcuffs and left him in the custody of Officer Martin.

Blalock reported seeing a female looking into his empty patrol car, and he went to her. She identified herself as Kinlaw’s “live-in girlfriend”. The officer told reporters that he noticed blood and general redness on her lips and nose immediately.

“She was very intoxicated and barely able to stand when she told me that her boyfriend beat her up and bit her finger,” Blaylock wrote. “She showed me the middle finger of her left hand, where there was a significant amount of blood, redness and swelling.”

St Johns County Fire Rescue 12 and Engine 42 arrived on the scene, examined the patient, and provided initial medical care.

The victim told police that she did not want Kinlaw arrested and refused to provide a sworn written statement. Although police gave her a “Victim’s Rights Packet”, she refused to complete the “Law Enforcement Victim Notification Card”. Police were able to obtain photographs of the victim’s injuries. Emergency medical personnel transported her to Flagler Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

When confronted with the victim’s statements, Kinlaw explained that he bit her finger “because she had her fingers in my mouth, trying to hurt me”.

Kinlaw’s version of the night’s incident was that the victim got drunk and was trying to beat him up, so he protected himself from her. He said that he had just left the apartment for a smoke — that is when the officer spotted him.

When Officer Martin performed a search of the defendant, a small plastic bag containing about 2.6 grams of marijuana was discovered in his pants pocket. Kinlaw acknowledged that it was his. He said that he was going to “step out back and smoke it then just go to bed”.

Kinlaw was transported to the St Johns County Detention Facility, charged with simple battery and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana; both first-degree misdemeanors. He was released from jail last night at about 10:33 p.m., after posting a $1500.00 appearance bond.

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