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Thursday, May 23, 2024

K-9 bites suspect who led deputies on a 131 mph chase

A K-9 bit a Leesburg suspect at the end of a chase that reached 131 miles per hour.

Marcus Jermain Sims
Marcus Jermain Sims

A deputy sitting in the median of U.S. Hwy. 27 near the intersection of Corley Island Road spotted a black Maserati rapidly approaching him around 3 a.m. Sunday, according to case report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The driver, later identified as 32-year-old Marcus Jermain Sims, was weaving through other cars. Radar picked up the vehicle and gave a readout showing it was traveling at 106 mph in a posted 55-mph zone. 

The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle using his emergency blue lights, but the vehicle continued to increase its speed to try to flee. Another deputy who was positioned just ahead was able to pick up the Maserati on their in-car system which showed that it increased its speed to 131 mph. As it continued to flee, deputies were able to successfully deploy stop sticks and strike three of the car’s four tires, the report said. 

The Maserati then turned onto Emerson Drive before fleeing northbound on Flamingo Drive. It next exited onto South Street, speeding westbound. A short time later, several deputies were canvassing South Street when they found the vehicle wrecked near the intersection of South Street and Casteen Road, the report said. 

As deputies approached the vehicle, Sims was seen getting out and fleeing on foot westbound through a wooded area. Several deputies, including a K-9 unit, gave chase. Sims was apprehended after a short on-foot pursuit in a swampy area. The K-9 bit Sims, the report said.

Sims immediately began making statements such as “I told my homeboy to stop,” insinuating that he was not the fleeing driver. However, the report noted that as the fleeing Maserati was passing deputies, they were able to see inside and saw only one occupant. 

Additionally, a check on Sims showed that his license is currently suspended and had six prior driving while license suspended charges, the report said. 

Sims was arrested on charges of flee and elude with wanton disregard, driving while license suspended (third or subsequent offense) and resisting arrest without violence. He was transported to Lake County Jail and released after posting $8,500 bond. 

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