19-year-old leads Hendry County sheriff, deputies on a ‘wild’ chase
Thursday, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office arrested 19-year-old Thomas Leon Charles Ferguson after he led Sheriff Steve Whidden and Hendry County deputies on a “wild” chase through neighborhoods and busy roadways.
According to HCSO, a Hendry County deputy attempted to perform a traffic stop, and the driver took off in a vehicle as the deputy approached it.
The suspect, later identified as Ferguson, took deputies through neighborhoods, recklessly ran traffic lights and stop signs and cut in and out of traffic.
At one point, deputies deployed stop sticks and deflated the front passenger tire on the vehicle Ferguson was driving, but that didn’t stop him.
The deputy pursuit of Ferguson largely took place along westbound State Road 80. As deputies continued to pursue Ferguson, his vehicle spun 180 degrees at the SR-80 intersection with Fort Denaud Road.
Sheriff Whidden was going to call off the pursuit when Ferguson began traveling eastbound in westbound lanes of SR-80 against traffic, causing several motorists to go off the roadway.
Ferguson then made a U-turn and went eastbound against traffic in the westbound lane of SR-80 and attempted to strike a deputy vehicle.
That’s when Whidden took the lead in his Ford F-150 patrol car and forced Ferguson’s vehicle off the roadway. He then fled on foot and was later apprehended by the sheriff and deputies.
Ferguson was taken into custody and transported to Hendry County Jail.
Ferguson faces charges for fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers at high speeds with assault, with attempt to commit a felony, resisting an officer obstructing without violence.
Ferguson is in Hendry County Jail on $160,000 bond.