Suspect apprehended in Lake City after being bitten by police dog

By News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: May 12 2014 07:01:12 PM EDT
Updated On: May 12 2014 07:02:25 PM EDT
Paul Balkcom

Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Paul Balkcom.

LAKE CITY, Fla. -

The pursuit of a suspect involving a K9 with the Lake City Police Department ended with the suspect being bitten and apprehended by officers on Wednesday.

Paul Balkcom, 45, was charged with robbery, battery and possession of narcotics equipment. He was treated for his bite injury at the Lake City Medical Center and then transported to the Columbia County Jail.

The pursuit began when LCPD officers responded to the Cypress Inn in Lake City around 1 a.m. Wednesday regarding a battery complaint.

Balkcom fled the hotel across U.S. 90, and after LCPD and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office established a perimeter around the Cypress Inn, the CCSO deployed a K9 to track Balkcom, who was found in a nearby parking lot, police said.

Balkcom refused to come out from under a trailer where he was hiding and resisted officers' attempts to remove him, according to police.

The K9 was released and Balkcom was bitten and then removed from under the trailer and arrested.

Casey Depalma, 27, told police Balkcom walked past her as she was sitting outside her hotel room and then forced his way into her room. She said she followed him into the room and he confronted her and demanded oral sex. She said she refused and he then grabbed her around the neck, pushed her onto the bed and held her by the throat.

She said when she screamed for help, he released her, took her nearby wallet and fled.

Balkcom is currently in the Columbia County Jail, being held on a $7,000 bond.

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