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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Hernando sheriff’s: Man hits deputy with brass knuckles

SPRING HILL – A Spring Hill man was arrested Sunday evening after hitting a Hernando County sheriff’s deputy in the face repeatedly while wearing brass knuckles.

According to an arrest affidavit, Deputy Brian Schneider responded to a battery complaint shortly before 8 p.m. in the Target parking lot at 4401 Commercial Way.

Brett A. Viotti, 30, “became irate” when speaking with Schneider, and grabbed a pair of brass knuckles and hit the deputy in the front and side of the face numerous times, the report shows.

Viotti kicked at multiple deputies who were arresting him, and initially gave a false name to the law enforcement, the report shows. He was arrested on charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, three counts of resisting an officer with violence, use of weapon during an offense and providing a false name to law enforcement.

Bail was not set because Viotti is a wanted in Pennsylvania on charges of driving under the influence, according to the Hernando County Jail’s booking site.

Viotti’s girlfriend, Cinthia L. Vargas, was also arrested after the incident.

Vargas, 23, walked away from the scene with the brass knuckles and a pocket knife, according to an affidavit.

A second pair of brass knuckles was found at the scene.

Vargas initially told the deputies her name was “Lynette,” denied having identification, and said “she would do whatever she need to for him (Viotti).”

She was arrested on three counts of evidence tampering, two counts of a weapons offense and carrying a concealed weapon, principal in the first degree, aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, providing a false name to law enforcement and resisting an officer without violence. She is being held in lieu of $40,000 bail.

Both Viotti and Vargas will be arraigned May 6.

Schneider suffered contusions to the face, and Public Information Officer Denise Moloney said the deputy was treated and released. Moloney said Schneider did not return to work after the incident Sunday night, and was not scheduled to work on Monday.

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