The Charlotte Observer
A strange police chase involving a riding lawnmower came to an abrupt halt on the Florida Panhandle when deputies “tased” the driver, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.
It happened around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, in the unincorporated Holt community, marking the second time this year deputies have reported chasing the resourceful suspect. Holt is about 40 miles northeast of Pensacola.
“A Holt man who jumped into a swamp to avoid Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies trying to serve him warrants last January was not as successful yesterday when he put a John Deere riding lawnmower into high gear and tried to outrun pursuing deputies,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
“(The suspect) was tased by deputies chasing him while he tried to make a getaway on the lawnmower. … When taken into custody (he) had a revolver and a handcuff key in his possession, along with a pipe with methamphetamine residue.”
The chase “lasted about 17 seconds,” the sheriff’s office told McClatchy News.
It’s not clear if the suspect was actually mowing a lawn when deputies caught up with him.
Sixteen charges have been filed in the case, including: “grand theft, grand theft of a vehicle, felony criminal mischief, two counts of resisting an officer, possession of a concealed weapon by a felon, carrying a concealed handcuff key, possession of drug paraphernalia, and felony failure to appear among others,” officials said.
The 40-year-old Holt man’s earlier escape happened Jan. 3 along the Yellow River, when deputies attempted to question him about “a $40,000 stolen boat,” officials said.
The man was spotted “on the boat when deputies arrived at the scene” before he “dove off the side and disappeared into the swamp to avoid going to jail,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Investigators say (he) had used heavy machinery, cutting a hole in a metal building, to steal the vessel from a business off Highway 4 in Baker,” the sheriff’s office said.
The suspect is being held without bond.