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Friday, January 27, 2023

Driver who refused to exit vehicle arrested in Tires Plus parking lot in Leesburg

Jacob Andrew Baker
Jacob Andrew Baker

A 27-year-old Lady Lake man remains in the Lake County Jail after he reportedly refused to get out of his vehicle during a traffic stop and then fought with Leesburg police officers who forcefully removed him.

Jacob Andrew Baker, of 39412 Carolina Ave., was charged with resisting arrest with violence and simple assault on a law enforcement officer after the incident, which happened Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of Tires Plus, 2240 Citrus Blvd.

An officer patrolling the area near Citrus Boulevard and Indian Trail was riding parallel to an older model white Buick as they both headed north on Citrus. The driver of the Buick – later identified as Baker – refused to pass the officer’s marked patrol vehicle and slowed to 28 mph in the center lane, obstructing traffic behind him, according to the police report.

The officer then got behind the Buick, and Baker immediately pulled into the Tires Plus parking lot before the officer could pull him over. The officer initiated the traffic stop in the lot and explained the reason. Baker immediately used his phone to call an unknown person and started reaching for a black and yellow backpack on the back seat floorboard, the report said.

The officer gave multiple clear verbal commands for Baker to get out of the vehicle and warned him of the consequences of not doing so. Baker locked the door from the inside and said it was his Constitutional right to be inside the vehicle and he wasn’t getting out, according to the report.

As several other officers arrived as backup, the officer reached inside the vehicle through the front driver-side window and unlocked the door from the inside. After opening the door, the officer gave clear verbal commands for Baker to get out, and Baker still refused, the report said.

Officers then told Baker he would be removed from the vehicle. As officers started removing him, Baker tensed his muscles, stiffened his body, and pulled away from them. He started kicking at officers as he was being placed in the patrol car but did not make contact, according to the report.

Baker is being held on $3,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Oct. 31.

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