Charges dropped against man arrested in fiery standoff in Osceola County

Man released from jail in November

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – Charges have been dropped against man who was arrested in June after a fiery standoff in Osceola County.

Osceola County sheriff's deputies said Samuel Keith Fertic, 45, was arrested near Hickory Tree Elementary School, which was placed on lockdown during a standoff. The lockdown at the school was later lifted.

The Sheriff's Office said deputies tried to serve a felony warrant at a home near Nolte Road and Old Hickory Tree Road in St. Cloud, which led to the standoff.

"They went to the residence on Nolte road and attempted to contact the suspect who was not cooperative and that's what eventually led to this and eventually led to him in custody," said Twis Lizasuain with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. "It was a dangerous situation."

The house was later engulfed in flames, but no other details were immediately available.

"I look out the window and there are police cars, unidentified cars all over the place, 40 something at one time and I don't know it kept adding and growing," said neighbor Nancy Chapman. "It's scary because you don't know exactly what's going on and helicopters all over you don't know if someone escaped or where the guy is at."

Video from News 6 helicopter Sky 6 showed authorities spraying a water hose on Fertic, who was at the burning home when the SWAT team found him.

Authorities said Fertic has an extensive criminal history.

After surrendering, deputies took Fertic to the hospital to be checked out and then was booked into the Osceola County Jail.

At his first appearance, Fertic stood inside a cage at the back of the room and had a public defender speak for him as the judge read his charges.

"I'm not going to read the facts, but I am going to tell him those charges are sexual battery and battery," the judge said. "The court has highly concern about the safety of the community as well as some mental health issues."

Though the judge wouldn't read the facts of the sexual battery case that brought deputies to his St. Cloud home, News 6 learned where they stemmed from through an arrest affidavit filed in court.

According to the affidavit, a woman told deputies Fertic raped her on Wednesday when she went to get some money he was going to lend her when she says he became "eratic". The arrest affidavit saying the victim tried to reason with him, but it made matters worse. From a hospital room she told detectives Fertic threatened her, continuously beat her, punched her, slapped her and even choked her to the point of passing out. The arrest affidavit says she woke up in a bathtub where Fertic began to violently rape her, holding a machete up threatening her life saying things like "You need to die, you remind me of my ex-wife and I'm going to kill you."

"It was a very graphic and violent crime," said Twis Lizasuain, with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. "He held the victim against her will, she tried to get away which she eventually did."

On Friday, News 6 confirmed through the El Paso Police Department that Fertic was charged with murdering his wife in 2001. According to online court records, that charge was lessened to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and he spent 10 years in prison for that.

News 6 has learned that Fertic was released from jail in November. Charges including second-degree arson and health safety-prevent hinder fightfighter or equipment were dropped.


BREAKING: Osceola Co Sheriff's office says sexual battery suspect is in custody after massive house fire. Read more: http://www.clickorlando.com/news/search-in-sexual-battery-investigation-prompts-lockdown-at-osceola-elementary-school

Posted by Nadeen Yanes News 6 on Thursday, June 9, 2016

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