Man arrested after leading troopers on high-speed chase in Wesley Chapel
A man was arrested after Florida Highway Patrol said he led troopers on a high-speed chase that started on Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel.
FHP says it all started before 9:30 a.m. Monday on I-75 just sound of County Road 54, also known as Wesley Chapel Boulevard. A trooper monitoring speeds in the area saw a black Chevy Malibu, reportedly driven by 35-year-old Marcus Larry of Lakeland, speeding northbound on I-75 in the inside center lane and weaving in and out of traffic without a turn signal.
The trooper said he also saw smoke coming out from the bottom of the car and noted Larry was driving recklessly.
The trooper said as he was pulled out of the center median to follow Larry, the 35-year-old "abruptly" changed lanes and almost hit a red SUV. The trooper said Larry pulled over to the shoulder as he activated his emergency lights. However, as the trooper approached Larry, he took off in his Malibu.
From there, the trooper said Larry went northbound on I-75 to the exit ramp leading to County Road 54. Larry continued to drive recklessly as he tried to get away from troopers, as captured on dash cam video.
Larry reportedly went back through the County Road 54 intersection leading to I-75, blowing through the red light and traffic, narrowly avoiding colliding with other cars. He continued to speed in and out of traffic, even drifting onto the shoulder.
Troopers said Larry took the I-75 exit ramp to Overpass Road, once again speeding through a red light and turning to go eastbound on Overpass Road. As he was making the turn, Larry reportedly hit the right side of a blue Honda Pilot.
That didn't stop the 35-year-old, troopers said. Instead, he continued to drive eastbound in the left turn lane on Overpass Road before making an "improper" U-turn on the center grass median in order to go westbound on Overpass Road.
Still trying to get away from FHP, Larry reportedly made several improper U-turns in order to avoid getting stopped by troopers and to get back onto northbound I-75.
One trooper said he attempted a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT maneuver) to try to stop Larry on I-75. It didn't work. Instead, Larry went the wrong way in order to take an exit ramp back to Overpass Road.
Eventually, Larry was driving eastbound on Overpass Road, approaching the intersection of Atwood Drive. While trying to change lanes, Larry reportedly didn't see a white SUV to the direct left of his car. This caused the left side of his car to hit the front right of the SUV.
Still, Larry continued going down Overpass Road, reportedly failing to stop for a stop sign at the intersection of Overpass Road and Epperson Boulevard. Larry then turned left onto Curly Road, also known as County Road 577.
Larry eventually traveled off the roadway north of the intersection of Victory Xing Drive. He eventually stopped on the right northbound paved sidewalk of Curly Road.
FHP said Larry then climbed out of the driver's seat to the rear seats and laid down. Troopers then ordered him out of the car and arrested him.
FHP said Larry appeared to be impaired with bloodshot and water eyes. Troopers said he was "unsteady on his feet and had a very quick and sporadic speech pattern." FHP added Larry was "erratic" and couldn't "control his emotions." He reportedly told troopers he took ecstasy and pain pills earlier that morning.
When troopers ran Larry's license, it came back as suspended in March 2020.
Larry was then booked into the Pasco County Jail on charges related to reckless driving, feeding to elude and having a suspended driver's license as a habitual traffic violator.