A 32-year-old Leesburg man was charged with DUI and fleeing/eluding a marked patrol vehicle after he led police on a brief chase early Tuesday.
Jakob Bradley Penrod, of 1618 Hampton Road, was also charged with driving with a suspended license (habitual offender) during the traffic stop, which happened around 2:30 a.m. on Cambridge Drive.
A Leesburg police officer observed a dark older pickup truck traveling south on 14th Street passing Gunston Street. The vehicle sounded like it was picking up speed when it passed the intersection but then rapidly decreased speed and the tires appeared to skid as it turned right onto Middlesex Road. When making this turn, the truck made an improper turn by going too far into the oncoming lane and not using a turn signal, according to the police report.
When the officer tried to initiate the traffic stop, the vehicle accelerated on Middlesex Road and turned left onto Hampton Road. The vehicle then made another right turn onto Briarcliff Avenue, where the officer deactivated his lights and sirens to cancel the traffic stop for safety reasons. At that point, when the officer was leaving the residential area, the truck pulled off to the left side of the road on Cambridge Drive, the report said.
The officer ran the license tag and discovered the tag was not currently assigned and had expired on June 22. The driver was identified as Penrod, whose license was suspended as a habitual offender in August 2021. He has five other current suspensions, according to the report.
While talking with Penrod, the officer could smell a distinct, strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Penrod’s eyes were also bloodshot and watery. He was immediately argumentative and refused to answer any questions after being read his Miranda Warnings, the report said.
A K9 unit arrived and conducted a full-air sniff around the vehicle. The dog gave a positive alert for narcotics. During the ensuing search, officers found several empty alcohol containers, including a small shot-sized Fireball bottle with residue in it that was located in the driver door panel. Three open Bud Light cans were found on the rear seat and floorboard. In the passenger seat rear compartment (within reach of the driver) were an empty bottle of Yuengling beer and two more shot-sized Fireball bottles, according to the report.
Penrod refused to participate in field sobriety exercises and also wouldn’t sign the implied consent form. He was placed under arrest and taken to the Lake County Jail, where he was released later Tuesday on $5,000 bond. Penrod will appear in Lake County Court on Aug. 1.