LARGO — A man who battered a deputy Thursday night has been arrested, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
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Authorities said a deputy attempted to pull 32-year-old Stephen Kunkler over shortly after 7 p.m. after he failed to make a complete stop at a stop sign at 134th Avenue N and Trotter Road. Kunkler instead continued driving his Toyota sport utility vehicle until he pulled into a driveway at a residence at 2623 Dryer Avenue.
Kunkler of Cape Coral got out of his SUV and refused to provide identification to Deputy Richard Curry when ordered and began backing away as if he was going to flee, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said Curry then fired at Kunkler with a stun gun, but the device was ineffective. Kunkler ran into the backyard of a nearby residence and Curry tackled him to the ground, where the Sheriff's Office said the two struggled for a few minutes. Authorities said Kunkler struck Curry several times during the struggle and made an attempt to reach for his waistband.
Kunkler was taken into custody after backup deputies arrived and a 9mm handgun was recovered from under his body. The Sheriff's Office said Kunkler had a concealed weapons permit and legally possessed the gun.
Kunkler faces charges of fleeing and eluding law enforcement, battery on a law enforcement officer and multiple charges of resisting an officer with violence.
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