Inmate's escape from cruiser caught on camera

Suspect caught 24 hours after sneaking away from Lake County authorities

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County man arrested for an armed home invasion was caught on camera as he escaped from a deputy's cruiser.

On September 13, 2012, Lake County deputies arrested Michael Lee Floyd, 23, for breaking into a woman's house and tying her up, authorities said.

Deputies placed Floyd in the back of a patrol car in handcuffs, but it wasn't enough to contain him. Dashcam video shows Floyd slipping out the back window of Deputy Eric Reyes' patrol cruiser.

According to a Lake County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs report obtained by Local 6, shortly after Floyd was placed in handcuffs, he complained about pain from "a previous gunshot wound to his shoulder." So deputies allowed him to be handcuffed in the front.

Then, instead of driving Floyd directly to jail, Deputy Reyes decided to meet up with other detectives to "brief them" on where Floyd and two other suspects may have thrown weapons during a foot chase.

As the deputy walked away from the car, the cruiser's safety partition separating the front and backseat was left down. Deputy Reyes said he left the partition down "to allow air to get back to the arrestee to prevent heat exhaustion."

On the dashcam video, Floyd is seen leaning toward the front seat and saying, "That AC feels good."

The deputy's cruiser was also missing a head rest, creating an even bigger space between the front and back seats.

According to the internal affairs report, Deputy Reyes also left his keys in the ignition. For nearly 15 minutes, Floyd was left alone. He is recorded looking out the window, apparently scoping the scene.

Eventually, Floyd leans forward in the video. You can hear as he rolls down the back window. Seconds later, the dashcam video shows Floyd pushing himself out the back window. Floyd remained on the look-out, before slowly disappearing into nearby woods.

Floyd was caught 24 hours later and is still in the Lake County Jail without bond.

Deputy Reyes was suspended for two weeks without pay and received a letter of reprimand.

According to the report, Deputy Reyes' corporal said had he known there was an inmate in the back of Reyes' patrol car, he would not have allowed the deputy to stop for any length of time.


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