A man wanted for burglary leads deputies on a chase that ends in a crash in south Fort Myers

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
William Easley (Credit: Lee County sheriff’s Office)

A man is in jail after leading investigators on a chase before crashing on US-41 and College Parkway in south Fort Myers Sunday night.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested William Easly. Investigators say he was armed and tried to run down a deputy.

Deputies were looking for someone else when they saw Easley.

That’s when the sheriff’s office says Easley, who was wanted since Christmas for a burglary, used his car to try to run down a deputy.

That deputy jumped out of the way while others gave chase.

The sheriff’s office said Easley was driving a red car south on US-41 at the intersection of College Parkway with deputies on his tail when he crashed.

“The car basically burst into pieces in front of me. We were trying to get onto College. As soon as he hit the vehicle, he ran out towards that 7-11 that’s there, and I would say there were about six police SUVs in tow, they drove around me on both sides drove up into the grass chasing him,” said Johnathan Clay who witnesses the crash.

Clay was on his way home from work Sunday. He was in the left turn lane on US-41 when Easley crashed into the car in front of him.

“I was a car length away from that being me. I sat there for like ten seconds, looking around like not knowing what to do. Should I stay put? Do I get out of the intersection? What do I do? I figured the best thing was to continue out of the roadway and onto College, which put me in the perfect spot.”

It was the perfect spot because as Clay made the turn, he said Easley, who survived the crash, got out of his car and tried to run away.

Instead, he slammed right into the driver’s side of Clay’s car. In those brief few moments, deputies believe Easley dropped his gun.

A deputy was later seen recovering the weapon and putting it into an evidence bag.

Clay said, “I’m glad I stopped him, and I’m really really glad he dropped his gun before I ran into him because who knows, he could’ve pointed it at me or tried to take my car, who knows.”

Deputies not only found a gun but also a black box in the car that had drugs and a scale inside.

Easley faces several charges, including aggravated assault on an officer.

He is being held at the Lee County Jail on a $112,000 bond.

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