VCSO: Intoxicated Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter arrested on felony charges after kicking deputy in stomach

Anthony DeFeo, combative with deputies responding to 9-1-1 call of suspicious person in Deltona roadway, screams: 'I'm gonna die tonight!'

Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter Anthony DeFeo, arrested on felony battery charges on deputies / Headline Surfer®News-Journal reporter A Defeo in Jail mugs onlinebut no story / Headline Surfer®Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter shown at work before felony arrest / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Anthony Defeo, a reporter for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, is shown in a mug shot taken at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach shortly after his 12:37 a.m. Saturday arrest in Deltona. Though DeFeo's mugshot is shown in the newspaper's online version under Daytona mugshots -- a computer program that feeeds in automatically -- there has been no story acknowledgment by the News-Journal of DeFeo's feony arrest and branch jail booking as of 4 p.m. Saturday. DeFeo, 24, bonded out of jail later Saturday morning, avoiding a mid-afternoon first appearance for those held within the previous 24 hours. He will be issued a court summons by mail with an arraignment date to answer the felony charges. Neither the News-Journal not its new parent company, upstate-New York-based Gatehouse Media responded to inquiries as to why the newspaper was not reporting immediately the breaking news to the public on one of its own reporters.

DAYTONA BEACH -- A Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter bonded out of the Volusia County Branch Jail this morning after he was arrested and booked on two felony charges for allegedly fighting with deputies while intoxicated -- including kicking one in the mid-section -- when they responded to a 9-1-1 call of  suspicious person in the middle of a road in Deltona.

The first responding deputy reported 24-year-old Anthony DeFeo, screaming: "I'm gonna die tonight!"

DeFeo then became physically violent and kicked the deputy in the mid-section. It took several deputies to force him into the back of a squad car during which he began kicking the roof.

At that point, the deputies physically tied his feet to the floor of the car with a restraining device, but he continued a verbal onslaught during his transport to the Volusia County Branch Jail where he was booked on felony charges: battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence, charges, that if upheld as felony convictions, could net him 10 years in prison.

At this point, he's presumed innocent unless or until proven and adjudicated guilty. DeFeo was released on bail after posting the $3,000 bond.

Reached by phone just after 3 p.m., DeFeo was asked his employment status with the Daytona Beach News-Journal where he has worked for two years now as a reporter covering DeLand municipal government working out of the newspaper's recently opened DeLand bureau.

"I really don't know if I still have a job," DeFeo told when contacted by phone for comment just after 3 p.m., declining to answer any further questions, citing the felony criminal charges he now faces.

Messages sent to News-Journal Editor Pat Rice through a private Facebook message and through his newsroom email went unanswered, though Rice clicked on the social media message, which indicated he saw the private message inquiry regarding DeFeo.

Rice was also contacted through Twitter as was the newspsper's parent company, Gatehouse Media of upstate New York, seeking an explanation as to why the news on DeFeo's arrest has not been reported, but those inquiries have gone unanswered, too.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.