BROOKSVILLE, FL – On Friday, July 8, 2022 at approximately 10:40 p.m., a Hernando County Sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle traveling eastbound on Sheriff Mylander Way in Brooksville without its headlights on.
According to authorities, the deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the driver of the vehicle in the area of Cortez Boulevard and Horse Lake Road. It was later determined the driver was a 16-year-old male. As the deputy approached the vehicle, the driver took-off, made a U-turn and headed westbound on Cortez Boulevard.
As the driver approached the intersection of Cortez Boulevard and West Jefferson Street he drove through a red light. In an abundance of caution the deputy disengaged from attempting to stop the vehicle and the driver sped north on Cobb Road.
The deputy was able to run the vehicle’s tag number and determine it was a rental vehicle. Less than an hour later at approximately 11:30 p.m., reports were received that a vehicle had crashed into the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office main building located at 18900 Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville.
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A deputy who was inside the building and heard the collision went outside to investigate and saw a teenage male in the driver’s seat of a black Toyota RAV4. The driver had crashed into the west side of the building, by a rear entrance.
The driver exited the vehicle and then made a statement about wanting to commit self-harm. As the deputy attempted to take the driver into custody, the teen proceeded to shove the deputy in the upper body. The deputy took the driver into custody without further incident.
Deputies walked the perimeter to look for additional damage and observed damage to the east side fence near the front parking lot and to the south side exterior of the building. This was in addition to the damage done to the west side of the building. The total damage was estimated at $16,000.
Contact was then made with the driver’s father who said about 45 minutes prior to the crash he and his son had been at the New Beginnings Youth Shelter located off Sheriff Mylander Way.
While inside the building, his son returned to the vehicle the pair arrived in and drove off. It was during this time that deputies initially attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the teen’s vehicle. After fleeing the traffic stop, the teen later returned to the HCSO property where he intentionally crashed through a fence and collided with the building twice.
The father told deputies he never notified law enforcement as he believed the teen was planning to return home. The teen was taken into protective custody under a Baker Act. He will later face charges of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, battery on a law enforcement officer, and trespassing. No additional information is available at this time.