Reckless driver leads deputies on two-county, high-speed chase
ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WWSB) - Sheriff’s deputies from Charlotte and Sarasota counties teamed up early Wednesday morning to catch a reckless driver who nearly ran over a deputy, authorities said.
While on patrol in Englewood on Monday, May 3, at about 2:30 a.m., a Charlotte County deputy observed a 2021 Chevy Impala approach a red light on South McCall Road and slam on the brakes.
The deputy saw the vehicle run the red light, making a U-turn. The deputy accelerated to catch up to the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop.
The vehicle then turned onto Shadow Lane and pulled into a driveway. The deputies blocked the driveway, exited his vehicle with his gun drawn and ordered to driver to turn off his car.
The car then accelerated toward the deputy, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.
The suspect also escaped after being hemmed by other deputies at a dead end on Drury Lane. The northbound high-speed pursuit that followed wound up at the Sarasota County line, where deputies from Sarasota joined the chase.
At some point, the passenger side tire of the Impala completely separated from the rim causing the Impala to lose control on Old Englewood Road. The vehicle struck a residence damaging the wall, garage, and a small tree in the front yard.
The driver of the Impala, identified as Julian A. Fernandez, 24, of Fort Myers, was finally placed into custody.
A passenger in the Impala complied with all commands and was released after questioning.
Inside the vehicle, deputies found more than 20 grams of marijuana in separate plastic baggies.
Fernandez was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on an officer, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI damage to property.
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