CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Citrus County man is facing charges after he fled from a traffic stop led deputies on a 45-minute pursuit Sunday afternoon, according to Citrus County deputies.
Michael James Dailey, 39, of Lecanto was driving a stolen gold pickup truck with a stolen license plate Sunday afternoon in Crystal River when authorities attempted to make a traffic stop, a news release from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said.
That’s when Dailey took off and lead officials on a “slow-speed vehicle pursuit,” the news release added.
Throughout the pursuit, Dailey stopped the truck several times before taking off again. During one of the stops, deputies said a passenger, later identified as Betty Joan Hall, 61, of Lecanto, managed to exit the truck. The woman allegedly told deputies that Dailey was high on methamphetamine and had a firearm in the truck.
As the pursuit continued, Dailey attempted to strike several deputy vehicles and at one point, successfully rammed one deputy’s patrol car head-on. Video captured by a passing motorist appeared to show the moment Dailey rammed the deputy’s vehicle.
The sheriff’s office said the pursuit lasted roughly 45 minutes and ended in the business plaza of Meadowcrest after deputies deployed stop sticks.
“Dailey then refused deputies’ commands to exit the vehicle and claimed to have a firearm while making erratic movements within the vehicle,” deputies said.
In response, a SWAT team was called. After a 45-minute negotiation period, members of CCSO’s SWAT deployed a flash-bang with little effect and ultimately fired two “less-lethal gas rounds” into the vehicle.
Dailey surrendered and was arrested.
“Dailey showed a blatant disregard for law enforcement today,” Citrus County Sheriff Prendergast said. “His actions put our deputies’ lives in jeopardy and that of our citizens. Our office is thankful that we were able to apprehend Dailey without further incident and that everyone on our team will be returning home safely this Easter.”
Dailey faces charges of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resist officer without violence, aggravated flee/elude law enforcement from the scene of a crash with damage, theft of a vehicle, and driving while license suspended or revoked.
Dailey’s passenger, Hall was also arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
A tweet from the Sheriff’s office showed a knife and a double-sided axe laying across the passenger seat of the pickup truck.