February 20, 2014

Big Pine man charged with fleeing from deputy

A Big Pine Key man was arrested after he fled from a deputy who was trying to stop him for speeding.

Deputy John Gabay was northbound at the 24 mile marker of the highway just after midnight Thursday when a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed southbound. Deputy Gabay’s radar measured the car’s speed at 73 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. He turned around and attempted to stop the vehicle – a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox.

The driver – later identified as 27 year old Anthony Velez LLanes – failed to stop and instead, turned off the highway onto Cutthroat Drive, then onto Jolly Roger Drive where it stopped on the front lawn of a home. Velez LLanes jumped out of the car and ran behind the house, where he was apprehended hiding behind some garbage cans. He attempted to flee from the deputy a second time during his apprehension, but Deputy Gaby caught up with him and took him into custody.

Deputy Gabay and back up officer Kendall Bailey could both smell marijuana while near Velez LLanes, but could not find any in his possession. After he was booked at the Monroe County Detention Center, corrections officers found a small amount of the illegal substance in one of his pockets.

Valez LLanes was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana, introduction of contraband to a corrections facility. He also received citations for speeding and running a stop sign.

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