DeSoto County deputy fights off trio accused of stealing car

Reporter: Annette Montgomery Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Charlotte County deputies chased a trio who, deputies said, stole a car and took off towards DeSoto County before coming back again.

A DeSoto County deputy responded to the car once it entered his county.

The driver turned around and he and two others tried to make a run for it on foot after stopping inside a parking lot.

A struggle ensued with the DeSoto deputy, during which the deputy’s gun went off, but both sheriff’s offices confirmed no one was hurt.

There are now two separate investigations underway. The first centers on the three people suspected of stealing the truck, and the second must answer how a DeSoto deputy’s gun went off.

On Monday morning, Charlotte County dispatchers gave DeSoto County deputies a heads-up that three people in the stolen truck were headed their way.

The stolen truck never got that far after re-entering Charlotte. The driver pulled into a parking lot along Duncan Road in Charlotte County.

“I don’t know if they pulled in as a sign of surrender, or if they pulled in maybe thinking they were going to be slick and the deputy would just drive right by,” said Chris Hall, Public Information Officer for CCSO.

But the deputies didn’t drive by. Both Charlotte and DeSoto County deputies went to talk to the three people in the truck.

“And that’s when they decided they were going to fight and try to flee. The DeSoto County deputy’s firearm discharged during that scuffle,” Hall said.

The gunshot didn’t hurt anyone, but two of the suspects used the confusion to try to escape.

The man and woman didn’t go far before being apprehended. All Monday morning and into the afternoon, investigators were in the parking lot where the scene unfolded, taking pictures and placing evidence markers on the ground.

For neighbors in the small, quiet community, like Maria Perez, the whole situation is alarming.

“Now I have to be more cautious of my surroundings because you don’t know who’s hiding behind that bush,” Perez said. “If they can do that with the deputy, they can do it with anybody, no matter what, could be a young man or a young girl, a child. To me, that’s very, very concerning.”

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency. They said that once the investigation is done, they can work on figuring out what charges these three suspects will face.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy involved in this incident is still on the job because his firearm was discharged accidentally, and that no one was hurt.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.