Man fleeing police run over, killed by DeLand officer, officials say

FHP: Volusia deputies tried to pull man over for not wearing seat belt

DeLAND, Fla. - A DeLand police officer ran over and killed a man who ran off after deputies tried to pull him over for not wearing a seat belt, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The fatal crash happened early Wednesday morning near South Delaware Avenue and West Beresford Avenue in DeLand.

According to the FHP, Volusia County sheriff's deputies tried to pull over a car, but the driver, 38-year-old Marlon Brown, wouldn't stop and a chase ensued.

DeLand police joined the chase, and Brown jumped out of his car and ran away, troopers said.

As DeLand police Officer James Harris, 25, arrived at the scene, he ran over and killed the man, troopers said.  Four other passengers in Brown's vehicle were not injured. 

It's not known why Brown fled police, but troopers said he was driving with a suspended license.

An investigation is ongoing, and the FHP said troopers will review dashcam video from DeLand police officer patrol cars.

Friends of Brown say he was a father and worked as a barber, often visiting the area and giving free haircuts to children in the neighborhood.

"Over aggressive, beyond aggressive," said Sabrina Waldron, referring to police. "It's just a shame. It's not called for at all."

Neighbors and friends of Brown said even if Brown was running from police over a seatbelt violation, it doesn't justify him being run over and killed.

"The beginning doesn't justify the end," said Krystal Brown, Brown's ex-wife. "Somebody has to account for his death, somebody has to account for my children not having their father."

Harris was hired by the DeLand Police Department in August 2012 and was a probationary officer with no discipline records. He is currently on administrative leave.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the fatal crash.

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