Tuesday, November 3, 2009

FL Tow Truck Driver Beaten, Truck Involved In High Speed Chase

Here's the story from the Suwannee Democrat:
By Jeff Waters, Democrat Reporter
A Lake City man who raced across Hamilton and Suwannee counties in a stolen tow truck was arrested east of Live Oak early Saturday, sheriff's records show.

Alexander Jarrod Daies, 18, reportedly beat a tow truck driver and stole the vehicle after the man came to his assistance in Hamilton County around 3:20 a.m.

Daies' vehicle was incapacitated and had been retrieved by David E. Altman of Jennings. Altman, 47, loaded Daies' vehicle onto his 2008 Ford truck and drove toward the intersection of SR 6 and I-75, where Daies was to be dropped off at a convenience store.

However, about a mile from their destination, Daies allegedly began hitting Altman in the face, forcing him to stop. Altman was forced out of the truck and Daies fled south on I-75, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Trooper Brian Creech spotted the vehicle and followed it from I-75 to US 129 after a BOLO (be on the look out) was broadcast.

Creech tried stopping the vehicle as it exited I-75 and entered US 129 South towards Live Oak, but Daies refused to stop, reports show. FHP said a chase ensued at speeds up to 80 miles per hour.

Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron said his deputies deployed stop sticks just north of the US 129/I-10 interchange in Live Oak. The truck's right front tire struck the sticks, but the vehicle continued on US 129 before turning left onto US 90 East.

Cameron said the vehicle continued down US 90 for about five miles before stopping.

"It was a very dangerous situation with a tow truck that was carrying a disabled vehicle," said Cameron. "It could have been very serious. But the deputies did a good job with the stop sticks and with getting him through town without further endangering the population."

Daies was charged by FHP with fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement and driving on a learner's license. Additional charges are being filed in Hamilton and Suwannee counties, authorities say.

Assisting in the chase and arrest were Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Jasper Police Department, Live Oak Police Department and the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office.

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