Man accused of stealing CCPD vehicle, fleeing from police before crashing car
A Fort Myers man is facing multiple charges after police say he escaped custody at a traffic stop and fled in a police volunteer’s marked car, which he ultimately crashed into a concrete pole.
David Anthony Fernandes, 24, of 8680 Wesleyan Drive, was charged with DUI, DUI with property damage, knowingly driving while license is suspended or revoked, criminal mischief, escape, car jacking, grand theft auto, battery on a victim 65 YOA, and fleeing to elude.
Fernandez sustained serious injuries in the crash and was trauma alerted to a local hospital where he was admitted, police said in a statement released Tuesday, adding Fernandes would be watched by an officer until he is discharged.
The incident began following a two-car traffic crash at 4600 of Santa Barbara Boulevard, police said. The driver found to be at fault, Fernandes, showed signs of impairment and was knowingly driving on a suspended license.
He was arrested for the suspended license.
During the crash investigation, however, Fernandes managed to escape custody and “immediately got into a Police Volunteer Unit (PVU) vehicle that was parked, running, at the scene near the patrol car. The Police Volunteer ran over and tried to stop Fernandes, but was knocked to the ground,” officials said.
On-scene officers immediately called out the information over the radio and followed Fernandes down Santa Barbara Boulevard to Cape Coral Parkway where Fernandes turned westbound on Cape Coral Parkway at a high rate of speed and refused to stop.
“Fernandes eventually crashed the PVU vehicle into a concrete pole at SW 25th Place and Cape Coral Parkway West,” the release states.
Major Crash Investigator Satterlee and Sergeant O’Grady responded to assist with the traffic crash investigation and an alert was issued for the roadway, which was blocked off due to the crash. Forensics personnel processed the scene and the Investigative Services Bureau was notified.
According to police, Fernandes had a blood alcohol content over .08. In Florida, a driver is impaired with a BAC of .08 or greater.
“We are grateful that the reckless acts of Fernandes didn’t cause serious injury to anyone else,” said CCPD Chief Bart Connelly in a prepared statement. “We have immediately tasked the Professional Standards Bureau to conduct a comprehensive review of the incident to find out exactly what occurred. Our full report, including any applicable recommendations for policy revision and/or retraining, will be available upon completion.”