Collier County deputy fires gunshots after Immokalee man drives van toward her

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
James Joseph Belsince, 37. Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Last Sunday, Collier County investigators say a Collier County deputy fired shots at a vehicle because she feared for her life.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Joseph Belsince, 37, of Immokalee Tuesday after he didn’t comply with deputies when he rolled through a stop sign at the intersection of North 18th Street and Custer Avenue in Immokalee over the weekend.

Neighbors say they were sitting outside their on their front yard when they say Belsince passed the stop sign and didn’t think anything of it at first.

Deputies asked Belsince to get out of the car because they believed they smelled the scent of marijuana. He complied, but, when they said they were going to search the vehicle, he got back in it.

Deputies tried to remove Belsince from the vehicle but were unsuccessful and pepper sprayed him.

Belsince backed the van into deputy patrol cars and then put the vehicle in drive and moved toward the two responding deputies. They both attempted to avoid the vehicle, but Belsince continued moving toward them, and that’s when the responding female deputy fire shots at the van.

Belsince continued on and crashed the van in a wooded area near North 19th Street and 8th Avenue and then fled on foot.

Deputies didn’t find him that day but were eventually able to track Belsince down and arrested him at his home.

Belsince faces two counts of Aggravated Assault on a Law enforcement Officer, Leaving the Scene of a Crash and Resisting Arrest.

Belsince is in Collier County jail without bond. He has multiple arrest records in Collier dating back to 2009.

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