PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A drug suspect put two children in harm’s way when he fled deputies in Pasco County on Thursday and crashed into a pond, authorities said.
According to an affidavit, the incident began around 3:15 p.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 19 and San Marco Drive.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy had tried to stop the vehicle for a window tint violation, but it sped away and went into a mobile home park nearby.
The suspect and the deputy drove past several people walking their dogs and the chase continued onto another street. There, the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a pond.
The sheriff’s office released video of the incident Friday morning. A woman can be seen getting out of the vehicle and crying for help. Deputies said two children were in the car, and that they were crying, scared and said they couldn’t swim.
Deputies said officers and bystanders rushed to the pond and pulled the woman and children to safety. The man was removed from the driver’s seat. No injuries were reported.
“They [the children] were shivering from the water and continued to cry and appeared to be suffering from the traumatic mental injury,” the report stated.
The sheriff’s office said a bag of crystal meth was found floating near the car. The driver, identified as Jonathan Mark DeLoach, 30, is a known drug dealer and had several warrants out for his arrest, according to the affidavit.
DeLoach was arrested on several charges, including child abuse, possession of methamphetamine, driving with a suspended licens (habitual offender), fleeing to elude and reckless driving.
He was being held at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center.
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