LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Lee County Sheriff's Office arrested a West Palm Beach man who allegedly ran over a deputy's foot before leading him on a chase.
On Thursday, just after 2:00 a.m., a Delta District patrol deputy was conducting an area check near the Hunters Ridge community of Bonita Springs, a location where recent burglaries had occurred. The deputy observed a suspicious vehicle backed up near the gated community on Trade Way One, with the engine running and headlights off. The deputy approached a 1987, white Toyota Supra and engaged the driver in conversation. The man in the car provided an identification card with the name Juan Huertas, age 32, of West Palm Beach.
The subject claimed he was on his way back home from Virginia and had stopped to sleep in his car. A background check of Huertas revealed he did not possess a valid drivers license. A second deputy arrived and suspicions could not be dispelled and Huertas was asked to exit the car as he was under arrest. The accused refused the lawful order, and a struggle ensued between the arresting deputy and Huertas. The suspect then began reaching for his waistband forcing the deputies to take further steps to stop his resistance. Chemical spray was applied to his face, but had minimal effect. The suspect had grabbed the deputies hand and began to pull away before letting go. The action resulted in the rear tire running over the deputies foot. The deputy did not require immediate medical treatment for his injury.
Huertas drove toward I-75 at a slow rate of speed. Both deputies caught up to the suspect vehicle as it turned south on the Interstate. Traveling at about 10 mph they followed until Huertas crossed the grass median and ran through the tension barrier cables. Additional units arrived in the area to see the Supra go east on Bonita Beach Road, cross raised concrete curbing and continue east in the westbound lanes before going completely off the pavement at Miller Road. Huertas then fled on foot, but soon went to the ground and again resisted efforts to be arrested. Once secured, a silver Smith & Wesson .32 caliber revolver, loaded with five live rounds of ammunition, was found on the suspect.
Huertas has been charged with Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Office, Flee to Elude Law Enforcement Officer with Emergency Lights and Sirens Activated, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a Valid Driver License and Resisting an Officer Without Violence. He has been booked into the Lee County Jail.
The fact the suspect was discovered near the community where recent burglaries have occurred is naturally of interest to detectives. The investigation into those crimes continues at this time.