ORLANDO, Fla. – A trooper investigating a single-vehicle crash Tuesday morning in Orange County was injured during an altercation with the driver, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The crash was reported at 5:45 a.m. on State Road 528 at mile marker 25.5 near Dallas Boulevard.
The FHP said the trooper spotted a car along the tree line and approached the driver, later identified as 18-year-old Audain Rulyl Perez Vasquez. An altercation then took place, according to authorities.
“As he made contact with the driver, a physical altercation occurred. He saw something in the driver’s hand and tried to take him down to the ground,” FHP Lt. Kim Montes said.
The driver ran into the woods but was located and arrested about five hours later.
Prior to his arrest, Montes said the suspect attempted to steal a golf cart from a home in the area of Dallas Boulevard. He was found hiding in the bushes by Orange County Sheriff’s Office K-9s and was bitten, according to Montes.
Vasquez is from North Carolina, was taken to the hospital because of the dog bite. Once he is medically cleared, he will be booked into the Orange County Jail.
He is facing charges of Battery on a law enforcement officer charge and resisting an officer with violence charge.
Troopers said a BB gun was found in the wrecked vehicle, which was towed away to be processed for evidence.
The trooper was taken to a hospital with injuries to his ribs, the FHP said.
“These troopers investigate dozens of crashes a day. You’re not really expecting there’s going to be an altercation,” Montes said.
Check back for updates on this developing story.