Innocent bystander injured in high-speed chase, suspect apprehended

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ocala news, ocala post, high speed chase
Michael De La Cruz

Ocala, Florida — On March 10, Ocala Police Officer Roger Hollingsworth was exiting the Ocala Police Department onto South Pine Avenue when he saw a grey BMW traveling northbound on Pine with one headlight.

A BOLO had also been issued on the vehicle for a traffic violation in which the driver of the vehicle traveled into oncoming traffic on Silver Springs Boulevard earlier in the evening.

When the driver, later identified as Michael De La Cruz, saw Officer Hollingsworth, he quickly turned into the Racetrack gas station parking lot at a high rate of speed. He then exited the parking lot, at which time Officer Hollingsworth became involved in a high-speed chase with Cruz.

During the chase, Cruz failed to stop at multiple stop signs while accelerating at high speeds.

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Cruz failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of SW Broadway Street and SW 1st Ave. and seeing the danger due to the high volume of pedestrian traffic in the downtown area, Officer Hollingsworth turned off his lights and sirens and terminated the chase.

A short time later, Lieutenant Matt Bos ended up behind Cruz and activated his siren and emergency lights. A second chase then ensued.

Lt. Bos continued to chase the vehicle southbound on Pine Ave. at speeds in excess of 70 MPH.

During the chase, Cruz slammed into a grey Jeep at the intersection of South Pine and SE 23rd Place.

Bos continued to pursue the fleeing suspect until he crashed his BMW in the front lawn at 500 SW 35th Street. Cruz then exited his vehicle and fled on foot. A K-9 was brought in and Cruz was apprehended.

Cruz was charged with Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Leaving the Scene of a Crash, Resisting Arrest, and Driving without a License.

The driver of the Jeep was transported to a local hospital with complaints of pain, chest pain, and loss of feeling in his left arm.

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