FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – After a nearly seven-hour search, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office arrested a man suspected of fleeing an accident with a patrol vehicle.
The suspect has been identified as Sean Fitzpatrick, 29.
Fitzpatrick was taken into custody while walking over a wooden pedestrian bridge between a church and a bank. Investigators said he appeared exhausted and was only wearing shorts. After being threatened with a Taser, he was put in handcuffs.
The minor crash occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday in Palm Coast. The deputy's vehicle had only minor scratches, but investigators said Fitzpatrick drove off at a high rate of speed. Shortly after, Fitzpatrick's pickup truck went airborne and hit a tree. Investigators said he then took off running into the woods.
"I think he was tired, he was worn out, he was thirsty," Sheriff Rick Staly said. "He's covered in scratches and cuts from his fleeing in the woods, and I don't have any sympathy on him at all."
Using K-9s and support from the air, deputies made contact with Fitzpatrick several times, but he kept disappearing.
"We basically kept him tied down for the most part. Every time we backed off, he would move a little and then we'd be able to get him again. It's very dense underbrush he was in," Staly said. "He was right when he told us that when we had him in the canal that he's not giving up because he's going to go back to prison. Well, he's going back to prison. But he's going to stop at my green-roof inn first."
Staly said Fitzpatrick was released from prison less than a year ago after serving more than five years for burglary. Staly also said Fitzpatrick's arrest record in Flagler County is more than four pages long.
"He hasn't been a good boy for a very long time," Staly said.
FWC was along on scene helping with the search because of the wildlife in the woods, such as alligators.
Investigators also said Fitzpatrick stopped a vehicle, asking for a ride because officers were chasing him. The driver of the vehicle declined and drove away without incident.