Deputies: Bicyclists flee but helicopter pursues and spots them ditching drugs

Deputies: Bicyclists flee but helicopter pursues and spots them ditching drugs

VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - When deputies say two bicyclists fled after failing to stop at a stop sign, the sheriff’s helicopter swooped in to track them and deputies say, in the process, saw them ditch drugs along a bike trail.

Tuesday night, deputies were in the area of Seminole Boulevard and Tamiami Trail in Venice when they say 33-year-old Frank Crouse and 27-year-old Dylan Rodgers were riding bikes and failed to stop at the stop sign and cut off a marked patrol vehicles.

Deputies tried to contact the pair at the Alligator Bridge but say the two fled along a small path. The sheriff’s helicopter swooped in to track the bicyclists and deputies say while they fled, Rodgers tossed a backpack into a wooded area.

With help from above, deputies stopped both men and say they admitted they fled because they had drugs on them. Deputies say Rodgers also admitted he had an outstanding a warrant.

Frank Crouse and Dylan Rodgers
Frank Crouse and Dylan Rodgers (Source: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies recovered the backpack and say it had a small amount of meth, a glass pipe, pills, bolt cutters and various tools inside it.

“This is another great example of how beneficial our Aviation Unit is when it comes to supporting units on the ground,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “Whether our helicopter is assisting on a felony traffic stop, a missing elderly patient, or a brushfire, they offer a great deal of support by providing an extra eye from the sky. In this case, these narcotics and tools often used to commit burglaries, may have never been recovered.”

Rodgers is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Narcotic Equipment, Resisting an Officer, and Destruction of Evidence. He is also facing charges in North Port, where he was wanted by police for Driving While License Suspended or Revoked 2nd Subsequent Offense.

Crouse is charged with Possession of Narcotic Equipment and Resisting an Officer.

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