Flagler Beach, FL – For the second time in less than a week, an elected official in the Volusia-Flagler area gets handcuffs on his wrists.
43-year-old Eric Cooley – a Flagler Beach City Commissioner – was arrested last night by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at his North Central Avenue home on a domestic violence charge.
FCSO spokesperson Brittany Kershaw says a witness came forward claiming Cooley “kicked and grabbed the throat” of his 47-year-old girlfriend at least two separate times at the 7-Eleven Cooley owns on State Road A1A next to the Flagler Beach Pier.
“Both incidents were confirmed by the victim and as well as additional reports of violence to the victim by [Cooley] on numerous occasions,” Kershaw added. “The investigation revealed a longtime abusive relationship between Cooley and his girlfriend of 20 years, who also works with him at the 7-Eleven store.”
The Flagler Beach Police Department was called in initially to investigate, but FBPD asked FCSO to step in because Cooley is a city commissioner, according to Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.
“This is an unfortunate situation but it goes to show you that domestic violence has no boundaries,” Staly added.
According to the arrest report, that witness is an unidentified store employee. It also shows Cooley’s live-in girlfriend claiming he’s abused her for the last 10 years, including instances where he’s kicked her legs with steel-toed shoes, punched her shoulder for no reason and slapped her in the face after she got out of the shower to get soap.
When questioned by police, Cooley denied hitting his girlfriend but did admit that they had been arguing “a lot” and that they have “not been getting along”, per the report.
Cooley will be held without bond at Flagler County Jail until his first appearance in front of the judge.