FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (BROWARD COUNTY) - A news report posted on TCPalm.com states that Florida Highway Patrol Troopers and Sheriff's deputies used spike strips and a PIT maneuver to stop a man from stealing a car along Florida's Turnpike. According to Florida Highway Patrol officials, the man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, led law enforcement officers on a dangerous, high-speed, multi-county pursuit. The police pursuit ended when the Sheriff's deputies successfully deflated the car's tires, and one Florida State Patrol trooper forced the stolen Lexus off of Florida's Turnpike.
According to arrest records, Florida State Patrol troopers charged the 24-year-old man from Fort Lauderdale with robbery, battery, robbery with a weapon, grand theft auto, and carjacking. The suspect's court records show that the judge in the man's criminal case dropped the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill charge during the suspect's first court appearance. The defendant's bail bond was set at $108,500.
According to the news report, Florida State troopers responded to several calls about people fighting along the side of a highway. As law enforcement officers responded to the scene in Indian River County along the Florida turnpike just south of the Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area and State Road 60.
Sargeant Mark Shoaff stated in the suspect's arrest affidavit that he and Florida State Patrol Trooper Franny Maurancy spoke with a woman at the scene who stated that she was in an argument with the suspect, and the suspect began punching her and tried to grab the steering wheel of her Lexus IS 200. She stated that when she stopped her car and tried to get away from the suspect with her car keys and phone, the suspect followed her, struck her, and fought over her bag.
The suspect then allegedly pulled out a knife and then attempted to the woman of her things. When the woman resisted handing over her things, the suspect then attempted to cut the strap of her bag off of her shoulder, and the suspect cut the woman during the struggle.
After the suspect took the woman's bag and keys, the suspect then took her car and left her on the side of the Florida Turnpike. The suspect then drove southbound along the turnpike for approximately 8 miles, where Florida State Patrol troopers caught up with the suspect.
Sheriff's deputies from both St. Lucie and Martin County Sheriff's Office's counties joined the police chase as the suspect continued to flee from law enforcement. A Martin County Sheriff's Office deputy then used spike strips to pop the Lexus' tires, and then a Florida State Patrol trooper performed a"precision immobilization technique," which force the suspect to lose control of the Lexis.
After the suspect ran off of the Turnpike, Sheriff's deputies wedged the Lexis to keep the suspect inside of the car. However, the suspect escaped and fled the scene on foot and then surrender to law enforcement officers.
According to Indian River County Sheriff's Office records, the suspect is still in jail and awaits his arraignment hearing that is scheduled for April 23, 2021.