Woman’s boyfriend accused of punching her

OKEECHOBEE — Saturday afternoon a local man was arrested for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face multiple times and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Justin Alan Driggers, 29, S.E. Fifth St., Okeechobee was arrested on a felony charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and a misdemeanor charge of battery. His bond was set at $20,000. Jail records indicate he has since been released on bond.

According to an arrest report by Deputy Dan Franklin, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), a crying woman called asking for a deputy.

Justin Alan Driggers, 29

Deputy Franklin pointed out in his report the woman called the personal cell phone of Deputy Todman and stated that she was afraid to be on the phone, was at a neighbor’s house and Driggers was currently at her place of residence.

In the report by Deputy Franklin, it is noted that the woman spoke with Deputy Jessica Francis and stated she went to the Bream Room with Driggers. The pair then headed to a friend’s house, and afterward went back to her home where Driggers then “passed out.”

The woman then claimed she woke Driggers and he became enraged, punching her in the face several times and dragged her through the house by her hair. Driggers then supposedly threw glass projectiles at her.

Deputy Francis relocated the woman to a friend’s residence and provided photographs she had taken of the woman depicting red marks on her neck, scratches to her wrist and bruising below her left eye, stated Deputy Franklin’s report. The pictures were later submitted into evidence.

Deputy Franklin and Deputy Lieutenant Shane Snyder returned to the victim’s house in an attempt to locate Driggers. They then contacted the victim by phone; she gave verbal consent to enter and stated the front door was unlocked, continued the report.

The report went on to say that upon entry Driggers was located in the living room and due to the statements made earlier by the woman along with the physical evidence, Driggers was arrested.

It was also discovered that Driggers – a convicted felon according to National Crime Information Center (NCIC)/ Florida Crime Information Center(FCIC) – had purchased a .22 caliber rifle the night before for approximately $250, had taken a photograph of himself with the rifle – and sent it to his brother – and was aware of firearms owned by the woman while living together for approximately 55 days the woman told Lt. Snyder.

Deputy Franklin’s report also noted that Lt. Snyder then contacted the man who sold Driggers the rifle, telling him he knew Driggers from the victim, admitted to selling the rifle – Driggers stated it was for the victim’s son – and that Driggers did not mention anything to him about being a convicted felon.

The report by Deputy Franklin finished by stating the firearm was going to be sent to the lab to determine if Driggers’s fingerprints are on it and the sworn statements by the victim, along with the man who sold Driggers the rifle, added the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

It was noted throughout Deputy Franklin’s report that Driggers’s girlfriend – who called in the incident – refused any assistance from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for her injuries, refused to fill out a complaint affidavit, refused to sign a waiver of prosecution and that she did not wish to pursue charges against Driggers because his family knows numerous individuals in the county.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, contact Martha’s House at 863-763-2893.


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