Police: Couple tried to run over Haines City K-9, officer; broke into mayor’s house

Polk County

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A couple is now facing numerous charges after Haines City police say they hit a patrol vehicle, nearly ran over a police K-9, and broke into the mayor’s home.

Haines City Police Officer William Tucker was patrolling at around 2 a.m. Monday when he spotted a car parked at a construction site.

When the driver, 31-year-old Matthew Sweet of Intercession City, noticed officer Tucker, he hopped in the vehicle and rammed Tucker’s patrol vehicle.

K-9 Officer Joseph Elam spotted Swett’s vehicle as it exited onto Old Polk City Road and pursued it until the vehicle ran into a ditch and stopped. After hearing the vehicle’s doors open, Elam deployed his partner Cash while trying to issue commands to the occupants.

According to police, Swett then put his vehicle in reverse and tried to hit Elam and Cash, but Elam managed to pull the dog out of the way and carried Cash in his arms while running away from the vehicle.

Police say afterward, Swett rammed Elam’s vehicle and sped away before crashing at Prado Grande Avenue and Old Polk City Road. Swett and his partner Kaila Elig, 32, of Davenport ran away from the crash shortly before the vehicle caught on fire.

Police searched for the pair with help from the Polk County and Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices. Eventually, authorities found the pair breaking into the home of Haines City Mayor Morris West, spotting them from Osceola County’s Aviation Unit.

According to police, Swett and Elig had climbed the fence and cut a hole into the screened porch.

Officers Justin Vasquez, Elam and Cash arrived at the scene first and tried to get Swett to surrender peacefully, but he continued to reach for a concealed knife in his front waistband and ignoring officers’ instructions.

However, Elam deployed Cash, who bit Swett on the leg and allowed officers to take him into custody. Elig surrendered without any issue.

“I am thankful we have such a professional Police Department who literally work day and night to protect our city,” West said. “Our officers and their county partners showed tenacious resolve to stay on the heels of these suspects and bring this to a peaceful conclusion.”

Officers say Swett was found with prescription drugs that were not issued to him. The vehicle was driving was also not registered to either him or Elig.

Swett faces a list of charges for the following:

  • Armed burglary
  • Two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer
  • Use of a deadly weapon on a police K-9
  • Fleeing to elude
  • Leaving the scene of a crash
  • Criminal mischief
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Resisting arrest without violence
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle and possession of Buprenorphine.

Ellig is charged with burglary of an occupied structure and resisting arrest without violence.

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