Flagler deputies arrest a previous convicted felon suspect who spat on a Walmart employee

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On Friday, May 3, at approximately 6:43 p.m., Deputy Nguyen responded to Walmart on Cypress Point Parkway in Palm Coast after receiving a complaint of a battery. He spoke with the victim, a Walmart employee, who stated she was involved in an altercation with a customer which escalated to the point that the customer spit in her face.
The altercation began when the customer, later identified as Palm Coast resident Channing Cooks, 37, attempted to return merchandise without a receipt. The victim reported Cooks became highly upset over the matter, then lunged at her, and repeatedly spat on her face while yelling “I have a cold!”

With information provided from FCSO’s Real Time Crime Center, deputies were able to locate Channing’s vehicle at CVS on Old Kings Rd. S. Cooks said it was a misunderstanding and that he had inadvertently sneezed on the victim while having a conversation with her about exchanging baby formula.

After reviewing a surveillance video of the incident and speaking further with the victim, deputies arrested Cooks for Battery – Prior Conviction of Battery and transported him to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. Throughout the drive he shouted profanity and racial slurs at the deputy but after arriving at the jail, apologized for his behavior. Cooks was released on a $2,500 bond.

Cooks was previously arrested for Domestic Battery in 2018, and Violation of Probation in 2019. Additionally, he served 10 years in prison after being convicted of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon in Putnam County in 2006.

“This convicted felon did not learn a thing about managing his anger since his time in prison,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “His violent behavior escalated what should have been a simple discussion about returning a product, instead he spit in an employee’s face and continued to berate a Deputy Sheriff on his way to jail. He had his chance to cool down at the Green Roof Inn, but if he doesn’t learn to avoid altercations, he will find himself back behind bars.”

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