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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Crash suspect reportedly hurls drug-filled sock onto lawn while fleeing cops

Joshua Douglas Atkins
Joshua Douglas Atkins

A man fleeing police on foot after a car crash was caught on video tossing a drug-filled sock onto a lawn in an over-55 mobile home community in Leesburg.

Joshua Douglas Atkins, 31, of Citra, was arrested on a host of charges after the incident, which started around noon Saturday with a two-car crash at the intersection of Coach N’ 4 Drive and South Street (Highway 44).

The cars involved were a white Hyundai Elantra and a blue Kia sedan. Leesburg police were advised by dispatch that the driver of the Kia had fled on foot towards the Coachwood East Colony north of the crash. The occupants of the Hyundai were treated at the scene for bruises and minor lacerations, according to the arrest report.

A witness said he saw the driver – later identified as Atkins – get out of the vehicle and run towards the Store & More storage facility at 2400 South St. While officers spoke with the witness, a Coachwood East Colony resident approached them and said Atkins was inside the subdivision and had asked to use another resident’s phone to call his mother, which the resident allowed, the report said.

Atkins told his mother he was involved in a car accident and did not have a valid license, and that police were searching for him. He told his mother to pick him up at the Subway in the Circle K by the train track, about a mile from the crash scene. Officers retrieved Atkins’ mother’s number from the resident’s phone and called her. She provided her son’s name and confirmed what he had told her, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the resident’s security camera captured footage of Atkins as he ran in front of her residence and onto the neighbor’s lawn across the street. The video also showed Atkins holding a black sock, which he tossed onto the lawn as he ran. Officers recovered the sock and found 14 grams of methamphetamine, 3.1 grams of cocaine and 6.3 grams of marijuana separated into plastic bags, the report said.

A search of Atkins’ vehicle resulted in the officers finding a glass pipe used for smoking illegal narcotics. A white residue inside the pipe tested positive for methamphetamine. A criminal background check revealed Atkins was labeled a habitual traffic offender in October of last year, and that he had three active Lake County warrants for possession of fentanyl, VOP theft of statutory property or vehicle, and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, according to the report.

Several hours later, police received a call stating Atkins was spotted at 600 Scenic Street. Officers arrived at the location and placed Atkins in custody. As he was placed in the patrol vehicle, Atkins uttered, “she came right out in front of me,” the report said.

Atkins was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of methamphetamine for what was found in the sock. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, fleeing the scene of a crash with injuries, and driving while his license was suspended. He was transported to the Lake County Jail with bond set at $23,000.


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