Truck thief arrested in Wesley Chapel

Body-worn camera footage from a Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputy during an April 28 arrest involving a stolen truck that fled and drove into a pond in Wesley Chapel.

WESLEY CHAPEL – Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a 17-year-old male during the early morning hours of April 28 as the suspect was driving a pickup truck reported stolen in Hernando County.

According to police reports, deputies responded to the Seneca at Cypress Creek Apartments in Wesley Chapel at approximately 1 a.m., April 28, after receiving information from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office that the stolen vehicle, a black Ford F-150, may be in the area. Responding deputies observed the truck leaving the area with no lights on and being driven by a black male who was later identified as the defendant, reports continue.

The truck pulled into a dead-end road of the apartment complex and a deputy drove a marked patrol vehicle behind the truck and activated its emergency lights. Reports state the defendant put the vehicle in reverse and drove into the front of the patrol vehicle as the deputy was still inside. After being given multiple verbal commands to exit the vehicle, the defendant drove through a tree and other brush to get out on to Cypress Creek Road, reports state.

The deputy pursued the defendant south on Cypress Creek Road and found the truck parked at the intersection with County Line Road, reports state, before fleeing again east on County Line Road. The deputy continued pursuing with emergency lights and sirens on and reported that the defendant reached speeds of up to 100 m.p.h. The defendant eventually crashed the truck into a lake just east of 1540 Mansfield Boulevard, exited the vehicle and swam to the shore, where he was arrested, reports state.

The Tampa teenager was the sole occupant of the vehicle, according to reports, and was taken into custody uninjured and without incident. The defendant was arrested on charges of vehicle theft in another jurisdiction, aggravated assault on a law enforcements officer and fleeing a law enforcement officer with lights and siren activated. Deputies also discovered the defendant had two outstanding felony warrants out of Hillsborough County.

Body-worn camera footage of the incident was posted to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.