17-year-old accused in Cocoa stabbing arrested after fleeing, crashing in Brevard, officials say

Teen, 2 others taken into custody after search in area of U.S. 1, Deering Parkway

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A 17-year-old accused of stabbing and beating a victim in Cocoa was taken into custody Wednesday morning after fleeing authorities and crashing in north Brevard County, according to police.

The Cocoa Police Department said the teen, later identified as Tobias Brewer, surrendered to Brevard County deputies during a search of a wooded area in the area of U.S. 1 and Deering Parkway/County Road 5A.

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Shelby Townley, of Scottsmoor, said she was driving her daughter to school when she saw the car Brewer was in lose control and crash at a high rate of speed.

“They were hitting the brakes, but they kept on going right into the bushes,” she said.

Cocoa police respond to home for reported stabbing. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Brewer was captured when a Brevard Sheriff’s Office SWAT team member radioed that they found the young couple hiding in a ditch near an orange grove.

Police said they were alerted on Tuesday about a missing girl who ran off with Brewer, her boyfriend accused of stabbing and beating a victim at a home on Japonica Lane. The victim, whose age has not been released, is in critical condition.

The department said the suspect’s vehicle was spotted in Volusia County and authorities tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle drove off. Police said the 17-year-old, his girlfriend and another person were inside the vehicle at the time.

Police said Volusia County deputies pursued the vehicle into Brevard County before the suspect’s vehicle crashed.

The three ran from the vehicle, prompting a search of the area by multiple law enforcement agencies. Police said the three were then taken into custody.

U.S. 1 was closed in both directions in the area during the search.

Richard Willoughby said Brewer, who neighbors call Toby, had just mowed his lawn.

“He seemed like an OK kid. I just can’t believe he did something like that,” Brewer’s neighbor said.

No other details have been released, and an investigation is ongoing.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.