Man fleeing traffic stop crashes into Mount Dora police cruiser, officials say

Authorities investigate incident at Lincoln and Highway 441

Police lights. (KPRC/File)

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – A 58-year-old man pulled over in Mount Dora Tuesday morning attempted to evade arrest, ramming into a patrol cruiser and causing traffic delays on U.S. Highway 441, according to police officials.

The incident unfolded around 8:45 a.m. when a Mount Dora police officer saw a vehicle driving “extremely erratically” going south on Highway 441. The officer stopped the car and asked the driver, John Stevens, 58, to turn off the vehicle and get out, however, the driver refused. At that time, the police officer reached for the car door and the man began driving forward before reversing and “intentionally” crashed into the officer’s patrol car.

The driver’s door was still open and the officer attempted to use his electronic control device to stop the suspect but it had no effect, according to officials.

Stevens ran several stoplights and continued south on Highway 441 before hitting a culvert at Lincoln Avenue, police said. Stevens suffered a severe leg injury and was airlifted to a hospital.

No one else was injured during the incident.

The incident partially blocked southbound traffic on Highway 441 Tuesday morning. Residents were told to “expect delays,” according to a tweet.

Several felony charges are pending against Stevens.