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Off-duty reserve officer helps nab suspected shoplifters

Suspects crash during chase

OCOEE, Fla. – An Orlando reserve officer said he followed a group of theft suspects from an Ocoee Best Buy Sunday afternoon.

[Scroll below for 911 call | WARNING: Content may be graphic ]

David McKinnon was off-duty when he said four males ran out of the electronics store with boxes of stolen merchandise.

"I came out to change out my son's Beats chord, you know, and I see all four of them run out and jump in a car and they take off and we are off and running man," McKinnon said.

McKinnon, who was dressed in civilian clothes and in his personal vehicle, followed the suspects. He said the vehicle ran a red light before getting on the 408. He also described their driving as "evasive."

McKinnon is heard on a 911 call to dispatchers while following a suspect's vehicle on Sunday afternoon.

On the call, McKinnon said that he was following a white Buick, before it crashed on Hiawassee.

Florida Highway Patrol said that the car, driven by 24-year-old Anthony Peterson, smashed into a Toyota SUV. No one in the SUV was injured.

McKinnon was also able to apprehend 20-year-old Darvis James. Ocoee police said that James and two others stole PlayStation game consoles from the Best Buy.

McKinnon also told News 6 that the suspect vehicle ran a red light.

"They T-boned a car. At that time they all jumped out. My focus was on the driver since he was the one who created the accident," McKinnon said.

McKinnon said after the crash, all four suspects ran down the street. He was able to apprehend two of them, using zip ties to restrain them.

"Even at almost 57, I'd do it again, man. It's what it's all about. I didn't like getting out and not being armed or anything at this point, go figure, but that dude was not going to get away based on the accident he just created a couple blocks south of us," McKinnon said.

McKinnon also said that two of the four suspects remain on the loose.

Orlando Police Department policy states that an on-duty officer following a vehicle must immediately stop if the suspect vehicle runs a red light or begins to speed away.

OPD policy also states that reserve officers are held to the same directives as full-time officers.

Orlando police will conduct their own internal investigation into the incident once Ocoee PD completes their investigation.

 


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