Passing vehicle helps catch fleeing suspect

OKEECHOBEE — A 32-year-old man was arrested the evening of Thursday, March 29, after a person driving on the road took notice of a foot pursuit and decided to use their vehicle to intervene and assist law enforcement’s apprehension efforts.

Antonio Aguilar Ramirez Jr., Northwest Third Street, Okeechobee, was arrested March 29 on a DOC felony warrant charging him with violation of probation – uttering forged bills, checks, drafts, or notes and violation of probation – grand theft (more than $300 but less than $5,000). He was also arrested on an Okeechobee County warrant charging him with criminal mischief (more than $200 but less than $1,000 in property damage) and battery.

Ramirez was also arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer without violence.

Antonio Ramirez, Jr., 32

He is being held without bond.

According to an arrest report by Officer Ryan Holroyd, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), at approximately 6:37 p.m. on March 29, he responded to the 900 block of Northwest 11th Street in regard to a wanted person. The Okeechobee County Narcotics Task Force informed him that Ramirez was last seen in the area occupying the front passenger seat in a dark-colored Toyota/Scion car. Ramirez had multiple warrants for his arrest.

Upon his arrival, Officer Holroyd was able to find the vehicle in the area described. As Officer Holroyd exited his patrol vehicle, he reportedly noticed the front passenger door of the vehicle open — suspected to contain Ramirez. Officer Holroyd reported calling out to Ramirez, by his first name, and told Ramirez to stop when he exited the car. Ramirez immediately fled on foot through a vacant lot.

Officer Holroyd reportedly gave chase on foot and gave verbal commands for Ramirez to stop. The foot pursuit continued to the 1000 block of Northwest Ninth Avenue. Ramirez reportedly then ran south, crossing from one side of the road to the other between vehicle traffic. Ramirez was continually told to stop, per the report.

Ramirez then ran to the east side of the 900 block of Northwest Ninth Avenue with Officer Holroyd pursuing him on the sidewalk from behind. At this point, Officer Holroyd reported a black Toyota Camry — that was traveling north on Northwest Ninth Avenue — veered onto the sidewalk in an attempt to stop Ramirez. To avoid the car, Ramirez ran into a swale, where he tripped and fell.

The report concluded that Officer Holroyd then apprehended Ramirez, asked the driver of the Toyota if he required any assistance and thanked him for the efforts in the apprehension. Ramirez was transported to the Okeechobee County Jail on the aforementioned charges by OCPD Sergeant Dawn Wendt.

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