SARASOTA, Fla – Mark Thomas, 22, of Plantation, Florida, has been arrested and is facing charges of Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (felony) and Flee to Elude with Disregard for Safety (felony) in connection to a hit-and-run crash that left a Sarasota Police officer injured on Monday night.
Thomas was arrested at a probation office in Broward County on Wednesday afternoon.
Thomas has been convicted of multiple crimes since December 2019 and was released on February 2, 2023. Previous charges include:
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– Carrying a Concealed Firearm (x2) (December 2019 and July 2021)
– Grand Theft Auto (x2) (May 2021 and June 2021)
– Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams (June 2021)
– Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling (May 2021)
– Cocaine Possession (July 2021)
Officers responded to Mourning Dove Drive on Bird Key at about 2 p.m. on Monday for a vehicle burglary. When officers arrived, the victims said personal items were stolen from their vehicles.
Officers discovered video evidence and developed a white 4-door S-Series Mercedes as a suspect vehicle involved in the burglary.
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Sarasota Police officers learned just after 5 p.m. the same white Mercedes was in a neighborhood on Longboat Key. Longboat Key police responded to a vehicle stolen from a home on Fair Oaks Place. Several people were home when the vehicle was stolen, but no one was hurt.
A call camera into the police just after 9 p.m. that the white Mercedes had returned to Bird Key.
Officers strategically placed their patrol vehicles at the entrance/exit to stop the Mercedes from leaving Bird Key.
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Officers at the entrance/exit learned the Mercedes was driving back towards them.
The Sarasota Police officer who was injured anticipated the Mercedes would either try and drive onto a side street or crash into one of the parked patrol vehicles.
However, the Mercedes drove past a parked patrol car and hit the officer head-on, flipping him over the vehicle. The officer was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and is now home and expected to recover fully.
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Sarasota Police officers followed the Mercedes away from Bird Key as it drove east on John Ringling Causeway, north on US 41, east on Fruitville, and was abandoned in the 2900 block of Orange Avenue. When officers arrived, no one was in the vehicle.
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