Haines City Police Department Press Release
Haines City man arrested for exposing self, striking multiple officers
HAINES CITY, FL – Efrain Lopez-Gregorio is being charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, indecent exposure, resisting arrest with violence, battery on a police dog and resisting arrest without violence after exposing himself and striking multiple officers on Sunday afternoon.
Officers came to Lopez-Gregorio’s Oak Avenue home about 5:30 p.m. Sunday after neighbors accused him of exposing himself while urinating in his front yard. Officers responded to the residence where multiple men were inside. They were asked to exit the residence where one responded with a “no”. Two men were seen running to the back of the residence to a second-story porch.
After being told to come down the stairs, one man identified later as Antonio Martinez Gabriel complied and was detained without incident. Lopez-Gregorio, 45, was asked multiple times to come down the stairs and refused before ultimately complying. As Officer Sabina Rivera attempted to handcuff Lopez-Gregorio, he spun around and tried to pull away from her.
Lopez-Gregorio was ordered to sit and was assisted by officers after refusing to do so. Lopez-Gregorio again stood back up, at which time K-9 Officer David Heptinstall assisted him to the ground and ordered him to remain seated. As he was sitting, Lopez-Gregorio swung his right arm in an apparent attempt to strike K-9 Fenix who was nearby. Officer Heptinstall was able to pull Fenix away, but was struck in the chest.
Since Lopez-Gregorio stood up after being told to remain seated, Officer Rivera and Officer Hannah Armbruster assisted Lopez-Gregorio to the ground again; the suspect swung with a closed fist and struck Officer Armbruster in the leg. Lopez- Gregorio remained combative. K-9 Fenix was deployed and was able to apprehend Lopez-Gregorio on his left knee and calf. Lopez-Gregorio then struck Fenix in an attempt to fend him off.
Lopez-Gregorio continued to resist, striking officers with his elbows and fist. He was eventually taken into custody. Three witnesses interviewed identified Lopez-Gregorio as the man who exposed himself.
Lopez-Gregorio was taken to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center to be treated for puncture wounds to his left knee from the K-9 bite. Lopez-Gregorio’s only prior criminal incident was in 2008 when he was arrested for driving without a license.
“We tried and tried to get Mr. Lopez-Gregorio to comply, but he instead chose to be violent,” Chief Jim Elensky said. “We’re just thankful that none of our officers were seriously hurt.”
It should be noted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has obtained a warrant for deportation for Mr. Lopez-Gregorio.