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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Leesburg driver tracked down after outrunning Fruitland Park police

Erick Smith
Erick Smith

A Leesburg driver has been tracked down after outrunning Fruitland Park police.

Erick D. Smith, 36, was booked Wednesday at the Lake County Jail on a warrant charging him with a third-degree felony county of fleeing to elude law enforcement. He is free on $2,000 bond.

A Fruitland Park officer was on patrol on Sept. 10 near the intersection of Pine Ridge Dairy Road and Pagoda Road when he spotted a white Jeep SUV which had an expired registration sticker. When the officer turned on his emergency lights, the driver began to accelerate rapidly, according to an arrest report from the Fruitland Park Police Department. The officer radioed the Lake County Sheriff’s Office emergency dispatch notifying his fellow law enforcement officers that he was in pursuit of the SUV. A Leesburg police officer had a previous encounter with the same vehicle and provided information, including the name of the driver, to the Fruitland Park officer, ultimately leading to the identification of Smith as the suspect.

Having received the information, the Fruitland Park police officer saw the Jeep SUV almost cause a collision at the intersection of County Road 468 and Lewis Road. He deactivated his emergency lights and ended the pursuit.

A warrant was obtained for Smith’s arrest.

At the time of the Sept. 10 chase, Smith had been free on $10,000 bond on a charge for fleeing to elude with disregard for public safety. He was arrested in that incident on July 2 in Leesburg.

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