Two K9 units make arrest after suspects fled from stolen vehicles and tried to hide in the brush
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, at approximately 11AM, FCSO deputies were alerted to a stolen vehicle from Jacksonville that was being driven within Flagler County. The vehicle, a white 2002 Chevy Silverado, briefly entered Volusia County before reentering Flagler County. Deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle while on I-95 NB, but the stolen vehicle fled at a high rate of speed.
The vehicle exited at Matanzas Woods Parkway and continued westbound. PACE Detective Dalrymple deployed Stop Sticks on the vehicle near Matanzas Woods Parkway and US-1. As its tire began to deflate, the vehicle continued south on US-1 to the area of Hargrove Grade, where the vehicle crashed and caught fire. Both occupants of the vehicle fled into the nearby woods. Flagler County Fire Rescue’s Fireflight assisted as patrol deputies and K-9 Deputy First Class Dawson with K-9 Baro began to search the woods for the fleeing suspects.
Flagler County Fire Rescue and Palm Coast Fire Department extinguished the vehicle fire. Unfortunately, two dogs were left in the vehicle when the occupants fled. One of the two dogs perished in the fire.
At approximately 1:33PM, the male suspect and driver of the vehicle was apprehended by K-9 Baro. The suspect attempted to attack the K-9 but K-9 Baro held on to the suspect. At approximately 1:59PM, the female suspect was located by Corporal Cavas and K-9 Holmes, along with other deputies. Sheriff Staly assisted in taking her into custody as she was hiding in the woods along US-1.
The male originally gave deputies the name of Leonard Stephenson and was transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and charged with Grand Theft – Motor Vehicle, Aggravated Fleeing with Injury or Damage, Touch or Strike Police Causing Harm, Resisting an Officer Without Violence, Criminal Mischief (Over $1,000), and Cruelty Causing Cruel Death, Pain, Suffering.
It was later determined that the male’s real name is Emmitt Loges and that he is a fugitive from several jurisdictions in various states. Additional charges are pending in reference to providing a false name and his various warrants.
The female, Sarah Brooks of West Virginia, was transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and charged with Cruelty Causing Cruel Death, Pain, Suffering and Resisting an Officer Without Violence. She is being held on $22,000 bond.
During the search in the heavily wooded area, three deputies received multiple stings from hornets. Chief Welker was treated and released from Advent Health-Palm Coast as he received over 20 stings.
Just hours later around 5:30PM, deputies were alerted to another stolen vehicle, a gray 2019 Volkswagen Tiquan, that had been reported stolen from Volusia County. The vehicle was located turning onto Pine Grove Drive from Belle Terre Parkway. Deputies attempted multiple times to use Stop Sticks, but the vehicle evaded all attempts.
Ultimately, a traffic stop was initiated, and the vehicle began to flee. Deputies did not pursue the vehicle and later located the vehicle crashed and unoccupied at the intersection of Pritchard Drive and Presidential Lane.
Both male occupants of the vehicle had fled on foot, but deputies could hear them running in the woods trying to esc arrest. Deputies and Deputy Beausoleil with K-9 Axle deployed, resulting in the surrender of one suspect and apprehension of a second suspect when he did not comply.
16-year-old Andre Jamar Smith was placed under arrest for Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Grand Theft - Motor Vehicle, Crash Damage to Vehicle or Property, Resisting Arrest Without Violence and No FL Driver’s License. 14-year-old Elijah Levi Norris was placed under arrest for Grand Theft - Motor Vehicle and Resisting Arrest Without Violence. Both subjects were processed at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. Smith was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice, and DJJ ordered Norris released to a parent.
“These four criminals thought they could evade our deputies and K-9 Unit and not get caught,” said the Sheriff. “As we have proven over and over in the last few days: if you run from FCSO, you will go to the Green Roof Inn tired and in this case dog-bitten too. I commend our team for their hard work in apprehending these felons, and thank Fireflight for their assistance.
Fortunately, the deputies injured from multiple stings did not have a serious reaction and will make full recoveries. I commend them for not giving up and still pursuing these dirtbags despite being stung repeatedly during the chase.”