By Matt Wiley

A weekend fight amongst a group of partygoers, apparently about a lost cell phone, has escalated into charges of felony battery on a law enforcement officer for one Wesley Chapel man.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), while driving home early on June 16 after attending a party in Tampa with his brother and three other passengers, Michael Jermaine Brown, Jr., became physical, following an argument about a lost cell phone.

Brown, 20, of 5020 Anclote River St., located inside the New River Township community on S.R. 54, struck the other passengers, first in the car, before escalating the confrontation once the car was parked in the parking lot of the Publix Super Market at Hollybrook Plaza on S.R. 54 and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd.

The report says that the passengers attempted to calm Brown in the car, but Brown exited the vehicle and began “aggressively approaching” the victims once they, too, exited the vehicle. Brown’s brother, who was not identified, attempted to hold him back from the other victims, but Brown punched him in the head and began to struggle with him.

At the same time as the fight, one of the victims located undercover PCSO Deputy Ryan Oakley nearby and informed him of the situation. Oakley responded with his badge around his neck and identified himself to Brown, and ordered him to stop fighting.

The report states that Brown responded by saying, “F—k your badge! F—k the police! I don’t give a f—k!” and continued to wrestle with his brother. When the two wrestled each other to the ground, Dep. Oakley attempted to restrain and handcuff Brown, but Brown was able to push away from and then kick Oakley in the stomach several times, before throwing overhead punches that split Oakley’s eyebrow open to the point of requiring stitches.

Brown was finally subdued when backup arrived and he remains in custody at our press time at the Land O’ Lakes jail on an $8,300 bond, charged with three counts of simple battery, one count of domestic battery, one count of felony aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and one count of resisting arrest with violence. Alcohol was determined to be a factor in this case. No additional information was available at our press time

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