Suspect dies after crashing while fleeing arrest, Lake deputies say

Man accused of dragging deputy

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A man accused of resisting arrest by dragging a deputy in his vehicle and fleeing on foot died in custody after his arrest, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said Sean Christopher Bentley, 27, was at a convenience store in Sorrento when Sgt. Richard Blanchard attempted to take him into custody on a felony warrant for failing to appear on fleeing and eluding charges. 

A struggle between Bentley and Blanchard began as Bentley tried to get into his vehicle, according to a news release. The deputy deployed his Taser but Bentley began driving with the deputy still partially inside the car, which resulted in him being dragged by the vehicle and injuring his leg.

According to an Florida Highway Patrol report, just before 10 a.m., Bentley fled onto County Road 437, crashed into the back of a dump truck and crashed into a pickup truck hauling a trailer. Deputies said he then fled on foot before being apprehended in the Eagles Dunes subdivision.                     

Bentley suffered a medical episode shortly after being taken into custody, according to authorities.

He was taken to an area hospital, where he died shortly before noon Wednesday.

FHP is investigating the crash and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating Bentley's death. Troopers are waiting for the medical examiner to determine Bentley's cause of death.

CR 437 was shut down for about eight hours as investigators worked the scene. Residents, including Renee Kalmanson, were not allowed back into their homes while the road was closed. She said she is thankful no one else was hurt.

"Just very scary that somebody thought they were going to get away from the cops and could possibly have hurt somebody else," Kalmanson said. 

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