A Leesburg man was arrested after he reportedly stole a vehicle and then struck a pole while making his getaway.
Altereque Lamonzs Baker, 42, was charged with vehicle theft (passenger car/SUV/minivan), hit-and-run (leave scene of crash involving damage to property), and DUI in connection with the incident, which happened around midnight Friday.
Jail records show Baker was previously arrested in February 2021 for marijuana possession, resisting an officer without violence, and trespassing.
The victim told a Leesburg police officer she went outside for something while at a friend’s house and spotted Baker driving away in her car. She said she found Baker in her vehicle a short time later outside a residence on Beecher Street, according to the arrest report.
The victim said as she confronted Baker, he took off in her vehicle again. He struck a pole with the front right of the car before backing up and fleeing the scene, the report said.
While the officer was speaking with the victim, another officer reported he had located a vehicle matching the description on Center Street turning onto McCormack Street. A traffic stop was conducted after the license plates were confirmed. The arresting officer arrived at the traffic stop in time to hear the other officer order Baker out of the vehicle. After multiple commands, Baker finally got out of the vehicle, according to the report.
Baker was unsteady on his feet and stumbled as he exited the vehicle. The officer could smell the strong odor of alcohol emitting from Baker as he was detained. The officer also noticed Baker was slurring his words and had bloodshot watery eyes, the report said.
Baker was placed under arrest and taken to the Leesburg police station for booking and field sobriety exercises. While Baker admitted to drinking alcohol, he refused to perform the exercises or provide breath samples, according to the report.
Baker was taken to the Lake County Jail, where bond was set at $3,500.