Man swims to island to avoid arrest after knocking out deputy's dental crowns, report says

Suspect faces multiple charges

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A man knocked out the dental crowns of a deputy who was trying to put him in handcuffs, then jumped into Sykes Creek and swam to an island where he hid for hours before he was arrested, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said that a deputy observed a suspicious vehicle cross over two lanes of traffic on N. Sykes Creek Parkway to make a U-turn and then saw a person to attempt to hide the vehicle behind a bank.

Deputies approached the vehicle and could immediately smell marijuana. They noticed the driver, Pedro Lopez Jr., had a marijuana cigarette on his lap, according to the affidavit.

Lopez claimed to not have his driver's license with him. Authorities said Lopez tensed up when a deputy tried to remove him from the vehicle and began crushing up a rock-like substance that later tested positive for cocaine, the report said.

Deputies said Lopez pulled his arm away as authorities were trying to place him in handcuffs and elbowed a deputy in the face hard enough to knock out two of her dental crowns, according to the affidavit.

A deputy grabbed onto Lopez's shirt to keep him from running away, but the shirt ripped off of Lopez and he ran into Sykes Creek, the report said.

Deputies said Lopez swam to an island near Kiwanis Island Park and hid there for four hours until authorities found him and took him into custody.

Some people at the park said they saw the manhunt.

"I've never heard anything quite crazier than that," dog walker Pat Pascuzzi said. "I guess a plus is the guy could swim. But what are you running from? Why would you risk your life?" 

Lopez, 32, was arrested on charges of resisting with violence, possession of cocaine and marijuana and driving without a driver's license. 

A judge denied bond to Lopez during his first court appearance at the Brevard County Jail on Monday.

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