Ocala man leads deputies on high-speed chase with minors trapped inside the vehicle

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A man from Ocala is facing charges of child abuse and kidnapping after he led Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a high-speed chase with minors trapped inside his vehicle.

According to the arrest report for Jeremiah Lewis, 19, a sheriff’s deputy noticed a car headed northbound in the southbound lanes of Jacksonville Road around 1 a.m. on Thursday. The car had fresh body damage.

He attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Lewis made a rapid U-turn and sped off. He pursued for several minutes before stopping the chase due to the dangerous way Lewis was driving.

Near Northeast 25th Avenue, another deputy noticed the reckless driving and both began pursuing Lewis. They say Lewis drove more than 90 mph and in the opposite direction of travel. He also hit a light pole and a stop sign.

Deputies noticed a rear door open multiple times during the chase. Using a pit maneuver, a deputy was able to bring the car to a stop. Lewis tried to make a run for it, but deputies were able to grab him.

Inside the vehicle, deputies found a 12-year-old, four 14-year-olds, and a 16-year-old. The children explained to deputies that they tried to get out of the car multiple times during the chase, however, Lewis would not let them leave.

The parents of some of the children told deputies that Lewis did not have permission to take their children from their homes.

Lewis was booked into the Marion County Jail on six counts of kidnapping, six counts of child abuse, four counts of interfering with the custody of a minor, two counts of fleeing, leaving the scene of a crash, hit-and-run, and resisting an officer.

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ThisIsButter1 (9870.00)

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