Judge agrees to keep man who bit off chunk of Polk Co. firefighter’s arm in jail

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County firefighter, still recovering after a man bit off a chunk out of his arm, pleaded with a judge Friday to keep his attacker behind bars, and the judge agreed.

Polk Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Kevin Shireman has undergone three surgeries, 63 staples, two weeks in the hospital, six weeks of physical therapy, and has more recovery to go.

“He’s possibly going to have to have one more surgery that they send him out of state for on his knee,” Shireman’s wife Angel told WFLA. “He’s permanently disfigured. His arm will never be the same. His life will never be the same.”

It happened after Shireman responded to a car accident off Thornhill Road at Moonlite Pass on April 28.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Breonski Gardner had crashed his car into a fence. When first responders arrived, he became combative. As several deputies and first responders tried to restrain Gardner, he made several attempts to bite their arms and fingers.

They used their tasers, but Gardner kept struggling, even after being handcuffed.

Deputies tell us Gardner bit Shireman’s arm twice, the second time taking a huge chunk out of his arm and ripping the skin from his elbow to his wrist.

Weeks after the incident, Gardner wanted to have his bond reduced so he could get out of jail.

“It’s not just what he did to Kevin, but if he can do that to a public service officer, what is he going to do to the community? I think he’s dangerous,” Shireman’s wife said.

He faces several charges including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and making threats a public servant or their family.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office added a charge of attempted escape to Gardner. They say he attempted to escape from custody at the hospital when they took him in to be checked out.

Gardner remains behind bars on $229,000 bond.




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