A speeding Fruitland Park man was jailed early Tuesday morning after allegedly refusing to stop for a pursuing Lake County sheriff’s deputy until he reached his residence.
The deputy was patrolling an area on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 shortly after 2 a.m. when he spotted a passenger car coming toward him at 78 mph in a 50-mph zone. He turned around, caught up with the vehicle and activated his emergency lights to attempt a traffic stop, a sheriff’s office report states.
The vehicle slowed to about 55 mph and appeared ready to turn into an empty parking lot just north of Cooke Road. But the driver, later identified as 57-year-old Tad Alan McLarty, kept going and turned right onto Cooke Road, the report says.
The deputy activated his siren several times in an attempt to gain McLarty’s attention. But he looked in his rearview mirror and eventually turned onto Hickory Avenue while traveling at a speed of about 30 mph, the report says.
McLarty eventually stopped at his residence at 700 Hickory Avenue. The deputy and a Fruitland Park Police officer removed him from his vehicle with weapons drawn. They gave him commands to exit the vehicle and walk toward them, which he did, the report says.
After McLarty was secured in handcuffs, the deputy asked him why he didn’t stop his vehicle when he saw the flashing blue emergency lights on the patrol vehicle. McLarty then said, “The way things are these days, I felt it better to just go home,” the report says.
McLarty was placed under arrest and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, driving under the influence and resisting/refusing to accept or sign a citation or post bond. He was released early Tuesday afternoon on $6,500 bond and is due in court Aug. 27 at 8 a.m.