Pursuit reaches speeds of 130 mph; fleeing suspect nabbed by OCSO K-9

OKEECHOBEE — Law enforcement officers from up to four different agencies were

Amir Lynn, 16

involved in a chase Wednesday in Okeechobee County that, at times, reached speeds of 130 mph on S.R. 70 East.

Two juveniles and an 18-year-old man were taken into custody after they crashed the car they were in on N.W. 30th Street in Playland Park but not until they had intentionally struck a sheriff’s office vehicle and forced a number of FHP and Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) vehicles off the road, stated reports.

After sliding some 239 feet and crashing the white Nissan four-door sedan allegedly stolen out of Brevard County, the driver of the car, Amir Lynn, 16, and Taparree Tyrell Shelton, 18, fled the scene on foot. Both were soon captured in the area. Another teen, Christopher Ezekiel Gordon, 17, was

Taparree Tyrell Shelton, 18

taken into custody without incident.

 

The trio taken into custody are facing the following charges filed by OCSO deputies.

Lynn, of a Mims address, is charged with eight felony counts of assault on a law enforcement officer with a motor vehicle, one felony count of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a motor vehicle and one felony count of resisting a law enforcement officer with violence.

Shelton, of a White Sands Drive address in Titusville, is charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting a law enforcement officer without violence. His bond on that charge has been set at $500.

Gordon, of a Cypress Ave. address in Mims, is charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.

Lynn and Gordon were both booked into the Okeechobee County Jail then taken to the St. Lucie Regional Detention Center in Fort Pierce.

Christopher Ezekiel Gordon, 17

Lynn, Shelton and Gordon are also facing charges filed by FHP troopers involved in the case.

All three are charged with the felonies of grand theft – auto and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a motor vehicle. All three are also charged with the misdemeanor of resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.

Shelton, because he is an adult, is being held in the county jail on a total bond of $40,000.

Both Lynn and Shelton tried to flee from officers after crashing the Nissan. Lynn was quickly taken into custody after OCSO Deputy Brian Cross warned the teen that he was going to turn OCSO K-9 Magnum loose. After the second warning, Lynn gave up.

Shelton, however, learned first hand how a well-trained K-9 can convince someone to change their mind.

After fleeing the crash site, Shelton ran past some mobile homes to the south of N.W. 30th Street then into some dense vegetation and could not be found. However, OCSO Deputy Matt Crawford tasked K-9 Mick to find the missing suspect. Mick immediately went to work and before long Deputy Crawford heard someone yell: “Get him off me!”

Mick had reportedly found Shelton hiding in the thicket and convinced him to give up by “engaging” the man on the right arm, in the elbow area.

“The suspect gave no indication that he was present, prior to engagement,” stated Deputy Crawford’s report.

FHP reports indicate the chase began not long after Trooper Mithil Patel clocked the Nissan traveling at a speed of 108 mph in a 65 mph zone on S.R. 70 East. As the trooper tried to get the tag number on the Nissan the driver of the vehicle kept increasing his speed until he was up to 130 mph, noted the report.

Trooper Patel went on to point out in his report that he was able to get close enough to the car to get its license tag number. When that tag number was checked, the trooper found out the car was reported stolen out of Brevard County.

When the Nissan entered Okeechobee County it was still traveling at a speed of more than 100 mph.

“The vehicle started to drive reckless. The vehicle almost crashed into a semi on the right shoulder at the location of the mud fest on State Road 70,” stated Trooper Patel’s report.

“The vehicle crossed the double yellow line and then traveled the wrong way in the eastbound lanes. The vehicle then picked up speed, traveling over 130 mph.”

Trooper Patel went on to note that the driver of the Nissan narrowly missed hitting another vehicle in Okeechobee County.

As the Nissan was traveling on the right shoulder of the highway near Mosquito Creek, the trooper lost sight of the car.

After notifying all agencies about the car, OCSO deputies spotted the car on U.S. 98 North.
Michele Bell, OCSO public information officer, said Nissan then turned west onto N.W. 30th Street with deputies and troopers following. When the driver of the car realized the street was a dead end he stopped, turned around and drove east — straight into the law enforcement vehicles chasing him.

The driver, Lynn, then intentionally struck the front bumper of the Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Deputy Cross, said Mrs. Bell. Damage to OCSO unit was minimal.

At that point the other deputies and troopers “… had to take evasive action to avoid hitting them,” Mrs. Bell added.

The chase started around 11:30 a.m. and ended in less than two hours when the suspects were taken into custody.

Mrs. Bell said deputies are still searching for a possible fourth suspect in the car. At this point, she noted, they have very little information to go on except that he is a black male.

FHP is handling the investigation into the recovery of the stolen vehicle and the alleged assault on its troopers. The sheriff’s office is investigating the alleged assaults on its deputies.

The alleged theft of the vehicle is being handled by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Mrs. Bell said officers from the Okeechobee City Police Department, along with a helicopter from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the case.

She added that other than Shelton, no one was injured during the incident. Shelton was taken to Raulerson Hospital where his arm was treated and he was then released.

After three suspects in an alleged stolen vehicle were taken into custody early Wednesday afternoon, July 26, Florida Highway Patrol troopers and deputies from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office were stopping vehicles on N.W. 30th Street in Playland Park as they searched for a possible fourth suspect. Photo by Eric Kopp

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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