Man accused of ‘recklessly’ circling Orange County fire truck during intersection takeover

Elijah Grove-Thomas faces felony and misdemeanor charges, deputies say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man faces charges after deputies said he was the driver of a car that drove circles around a fire truck and prevented it from responding to an emergency call in April, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday, deputies announced after a three-month investigation that they determined Elijah Grove-Thomas, 25, was the driver of a Dodge Charger seen on social media video driving circles around the fire truck.

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Orange County Fire Rescue responded to a reported car fire at 1:02 a.m. on April 3. Upon arrival, crews said they found large crowds and vehicles involved in street racing at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and Winegard Road.

Fire officials added that no car fire was found, but the fire truck was prevented from leaving the area after a vehicle began “driving recklessly” around it.

According to a news release, Grove-Thomas faces felony and misdemeanor charges, but the exact charges weren’t specified.

“Street racing and intersection takeovers are illegal and extremely dangerous. If you do this in Orange County, you’ll be arrested and your fancy car will be impounded for at least a month,” the sheriff’s office said in part in their release.

“Reckless driving and street racing is dangerous and illegal,” deputies said in April. “We know that this type of activity leads to serious injury and sometimes death to participants and other bystanders. These groups are not unique to Central Florida, it’s a nationwide problem.”

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.