ENGLEWOOD, FL – While on patrol in Englewood on May 3rd around 2:30am, a deputy observed a 2021 Chevy Impala approach a red light on S McCall Road and slam on the brakes causing the tires to squeal and smoke. The deputy got behind the vehicle and observed it make a U-turn and run a red light so the deputy accelerated to catch up to the vehicle and conduct a traffic stop.
As the deputy accelerated, the Impala was pulling away in a posted 45 mph zone. The vehicle then turned left on Shadow Lane and pulled into a driveway where the deputy positioned his patrol car in an attempt to block the vehicle in. The deputy observed the driver door begin to open. The deputy exited his vehicle with his firearm while giving verbal commands to the driver to turn off the vehicle and make his hands visible. The vehicle then began to move. With the engine revving and tires spinning on the grass, the vehicle accelerated towards the deputy getting nearly 5 ft. from him, forcing the deputy to jump out of the way to avoid being ran over.
The vehicle proceeded through the ditch and back onto Shadow Lane. Additional officers on duty were notified of the stop and were already on Shadow Lane where they also attempted to stop the Impala. The vehicle was then observed travelling north on Drury Lane towards a dead-end where it came to a stop. Several deputies approached the vehicle on foot with firearms drawn. Verbal commands were once again given to turn the vehicle off and to show his hands. The driver once again drove off south on Drury Lane nearly hitting a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office patrol car in the process.
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Officers pursued the vehicle as it recklessly drove through the community with, according to authorities, ‘no regard for public safety’. At one point deputies noticed the vehicle had a possible flat tire and was traveling at speeds of over 85 MPH as the driver headed towards the Sarasota County line. Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the pursuit and had their deputies assist. At some point, the passenger side tire completely tore from the rim causing the vehicle to lose control and began to spin on Old Englewood Road. The vehicle struck a residence damaging the wall, garage, and a small tree in the front yard.
The vehicle eventually came to a stop and both Charlotte County and Sarasota County deputies surrounded the vehicle. Verbal commands were given to the driver who was identified as Julian A. Fernandez, 24, of Fort Myers, to exit the vehicle with his hands in the air. Julian complied, exited the driver’s side, and was placed under arrest. Deputies could smell the alcohol coming from Fernandez and his watery, bloodshot eyes. However, Fernandez refused to complete field sobriety exercises. The passenger identified as Hannah M. Flammingan, also 24, was given verbal commands to exit the vehicle and get on the ground. Hannah complied and was detained for further investigation. Hannah did not face charges and was released after questioning.
Dispatch confirmed that Julian A. Fernandez was a habitual traffic offender with a suspended license and an extensive criminal history including burglary, possession, theft, fraud, resisting an officer without violence and more. Inside the vehicle, members located over 20 grams of Marijuana in separate plastic baggies.
Fernandez was arrested by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and transported to the Sarasota County Jail. Fernandez is now being held at the Charlotte County Jail with no bond on the charges of fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on an officer, possession of marijuana over 20 grams, reckless driving, driving without license revoked by a habitual offender, DUI with damage to property, and possession of drug paraphernalia.